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Andy Murray makes ATP semi-finals

Andy Murray progressed to the semi-finals of the Barclay’s ATP World Tour Finals in London, resisting Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s attempt at a comeback. The tournament’s unusual structure meant Murray only had to win the first set to be assured of a place in the weekend’s semi-finals, but finished off the job by edging the second set in a tie-break.

After losing to Novak Djokovic earlier in the week, Murray had to be at his best to ensure he stayed in the tournament, and his performance against Tsonga showed he was still capable of reaching the heights that brought him Olympic gold and a US Open title this year.

Much of the credit for Murray’s progress in 21012 must go to the coach Ivan Lendl, who has concentrated on Murray’s mental preparation and on-court attitude. There was a noticeable change in Murray’s self—control after he lost the Wimbledon final and a massive improvement in his confidence after the Olympic win.

"Ivan said before the match to just forget I only needed to win one set," Murray said, "but that is what I was thinking about. It was quite a tough scenario to know that, if he won two sets, I was out. I was lucky to get off to a good start and that helped."

Murray was undaunted by Tsonga’s powerful serving, taking the ball early and showing his domination of the court. Tsonga’s reaction was to hit the ball hard and erratically, and Murray won the first set with ease. The second was a little tougher as Tsonga fought back, and Murray let a few mistakes creep into his game. Murray had to survive a set point against him before dominating the tie-break.

Djokovic had earlier beaten Tomas Berdych 6-2, 7-6 to confirm his place in the semi-finals. Murray will face either Roger Federer or Juan-Martin Del Potro in the semi-final.

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