Semi-final preview: Murray v del Potro
Originally published on: 26/02/10 15:53
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66 Juan Martin del Potro will be towering over British No.1 and world No.4 Andy Murray in the first semi-final on Friday night at Crandon Park in a mission to win his first ever ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final.
The 22-year-old Scot had his revenge on Fernando Verdasco in Thursdays quarter-final winning 6-1, 6-2, while Del Potro served up a shock defeat over world No.1 Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 7-6.
here to see a del Potro gallery.
On paper there really is not much to choose between them, as the young stars have both been enjoying phenomenal years, but Muzza does lead their head-to-head 2-0.
Murray last beat the Argentine at the 2008 US Open quarter-finals in a tight four-set grind. However, a lot has happened since then and both men are looking to be nearing their best this April.
Over the past eight months, Muzza and Del Potro have been two of the most consistent players on the ATP World Tour, and since July 2008 both players have captured five ATP World Tour titles.
In addition, Muzza has a phenomenal 55-7 record since then closely followed by Del Potro, who holds a 56-12 match-record.
But more recently Murray stands out as the favourite as he currently holds a career-best 24-2 match record so far in 2009, compared with world No.7 Del Potros 19-4 record.
So, Murray knows he can beat the young South American, but he will need to maintain his serve-holding ability (currently 80%) and not let the powerful Juan into the match. Murray also realises that Del Potro will be full of confidence: He lost to Nadal a few times in a row and to beat him in a big match is going to give him a lot of confidence, said Murray.
Juan Martin has a very solid baseline game for someone his height. He moves well and he likes to dictate from the back of the court.
It will be up to me to try and bring him to the net a little bit because he is not as comfortable when he is on the run, Murray added.
So Murray is well aware he is going to have to play his best to make the final and vie for the world No.3 spot (Djokovic will have to lose his semi-final to Federer too). tennishead certainly cant wait.