Andy Murray is back in familiar territory in Melbourne, advancing to the semifinals at the Australian Open for the sixth time in seven years with a 6–3, 6–7(5), 6–2, 6–3 win over No. 8 David Ferrer on Wednesday.
Before the match, Ferrer had not dropped a set through four matches and was only broken twice in 58 serving games, but Murray won comfortably the first set in 45 minutes.
“It was a good match. It was a lot of rallies. It was tough,” Ferrer said after the match. “In the third set, the first games, it was tough but it was close. He was better than me playing very aggressive with his backhand.”
Ferrer fought back and won the second set tiebreak. In the third set, a Ferrer unforced error was to give Murray a break for 3-1 but tournament organizers immediately suspended the match because of nearby thunderstorms and closed the roof, altering the conditions in the match.
“I think it changed things a little bit,” Murray said of the roof closure. “When the roof closed, I was obviously up a break in the third and was feeling good. That first game after the delay was a very important. I saved a couple of break points, but then actually played a good game. So it was nice to get through that game. Then I felt like started to play better as the match went on.”
The errors began to pile up for Ferrer in the fourth set and Murray ultimately closed out the match after three hours and 20 minutes, extending his career head-to-head record against the Spaniard to 13-6.
Murray’s win and Johanna Konta’s earlier dismissal of Chinese qualifier Shuai Zhang marked the first time since 1977 that two British players have reached the singles semifinals of a Grand Slam. The No. 2-seed will play Milos Raonic in the semifinals on Friday after the Canadian defeated Gael Monfils 6–3, 3–6, 6–3, 6–4 on Wednesday night.
Raonic is the first Canadian man to make the semifinals at the Australian Open and he is into his second career semifinal, his first in Melbourne. Seeded 13th, he is yet to lose a match in 2016, defeating Federer to win the title in Brisbane at the beginning of the month.
"It’s an amazing feeling,” Raonic said of making Canadian history. “Tennis is growing and growing quickly in Canada—to be a big part of that is an honor. It was a lot of fun to be here and play in front of this crowd.”
Raonic closed out the match after two hours and 17 minutes, hitting 47 winners and winning 31 of 46 shots at the net.
“I just said to myself, keep creating opportunities and they'll go your way,” he said.