Tennis

Andy Murray beats Richard Gasquet for Paris Masters semi-final spot

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Andy Murray recovered from a break down in the final set to beat Richard Gasquet and reach the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Paris Masters for the first time in his career.

Murray struggled to match his French opponent in front of a partisan home crowd but eventually triumphed 7-6 (9/7) 3-6 6-3 to set up a last-four clash with either John Isner or David Ferrer.

The Scot had started in superb fashion by breaking in Gasquet's first service game but was hauled back level at 4-4 and forced into a tie-break, which he dug out after saving one set point.

There were worrying signs for Murray in the second set as he visibly flagged and appeared to be limping as Gasquet seized control.

Gaining confidence as the set progressed, Gasquet produced a series of sweet passing shots as he broke Murray for a 4-2 lead and comfortably served out with an ace to force the tie into a decider.

With Murray producing a growing number of errors and looking increasingly irritated, Gasquet looked a strong bet to go on for victory after a stunning forehand return saw him break Murray again for a 2-1 lead.

However, Murray drew on all his energy reserves to break Gasquet straight back and swing the match back in his favour, a further break proving enough to see him through a testing match which he feels will augur well for the forthcoming Davis Cup final in Belgium.

Murray told the BBC: "It was a tough match. The crowd were behind him and it was perfect preparation for the Davis Cup in an atmosphere like that."

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