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Nadal v Murray – Spaniard will prove too good yet again

| 27.11.2010

Andy Murray rarely sounds like the most enthusiastic gentleman you’ll ever come across, but his comments ahead of his ATP World Tour semi-final against Rafael Nadal were pessimistic even by his standards.

He said in a press conference earlier in the week that he was not confident of beating the world No.1 – who is 1/2 favourite – before retracting those comments via Twitter, but his comments since then have hardly been statements of intent.

He said: “”He’s obviously the best player in the world. I’ve watched his matches here and he’s been playing unbelievably well.

“I don’t seem to beat those guys in the big matches so I’m going to have to play my best tennis against him to win. I need to do it in a big match, in the semis. I have to see whether I can do that or not.”

Murray can take heart from his recent record against Nadal on hard surfaces though. Murray has won both of his encounters with the Spaniard on the surface this year – in the Australian Open in January and the Rogers Cup in August.

However, Nadal still has the advantage over Murray in the head-to-head meets, leading 8-4. He also heads into the tournament on the back of a brilliant season that saw him complete his own personal grand slam with a win at the US Open in September.

He has comfortably dispatched Tomas Berdych, Andy Roddick and Novak Djokovic over the past week and is quite rightly the favourite at 1/2.

Murray will have to wait a little bit longer to get his first major semi-final win against one of the big names.

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Richard Anderson