Murray cruises into Australian Open semis

09:27, Jan 23 2013
Australian Open 2013
Janko Tipsarevic celebrates his straight sets win over Lleyton Hewitt in the first round.
Australian Open 2013
Ana Ivanovic celebrates a point during her match against Melinda Czink.
Australian Open 2013
A packed house shows up to watch local Lleyton Hewitt's first round match at Rod Laver Arena.
Australian Open 2013
Lleyton Hewitt's returns a point during his loss to Janko Tipsarevic.
Australian Open 2013
David Ferrer lies on court after throwing himself at a point during his first round win over Olivier Rochus.
Australian Open 2013
Fan show their home town support on day one.
Australian Open 2013
Maria Sharapova serves during her first round win.
AustralianOpen
Novak Djokovic on his way to a first round straight sets victory.
Australian Open
Caroline Wozniacki in action during her first round match against Sabine Lisicki.
Australian Open
Andy Murray returns a shot against Robin Haase on day two of the Australian Open.
Serena Williams
Chair umpire Kerrilyn Cramer comes to the aid of Serena Williams after she fell heavily during her match against Romanian Edina Gallovits-Hall.
Roger Federer
Roger Federer during his first round match against Benoit Paire of France.
Australian Open
Bernard Tomic keeps his eye on the ball.
Australian Open
Melbourne Park is lit up for the night session on day two.
Australian Open
Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia does the splits in her first round match against Yanina Wickmayer.
Australian Open
Gael Monfils celebrates a point during his first round match.
Australian Open
Fans scramble for signatures from Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro.
Australian Open
No 1 seed Victoria Azarenka in action on day two.
Australian Open
Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland hits a return to Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania.
Australian Open
Daniel Gimeno-Traver of Spain hits a return to compatriot Nicolas Almagro during their men's singles match at the Australian Open.
Nishikori
Kei Nishikori of Japan plays a backhand in his second round match against Carlos Berlocq of Argentina.
Australian Open
Jerzy Janowicz exploded in rage after losing a 79-minute set to India’s Somdev Devvarman.
Australian Open
Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic plays a backhand in his second round match against Guillaume Rufin of France.
Sam Stosur
Sam Stosur exits Rod Laver Arena after her second round defeat to China's Zheng Jie
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova waits for a serve from Japan's Misaki Doi during her second round roll-over.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic lost just six games as he cruised to a straight sets victory over American Ryan Harrison.
Australian Open
Heather Watson of Great Britain celebrates with fans after her second round singles win.
Australian Open
Bob and Mike Bryan perform their trademark chest bump after winning their opening doubles match.
Australian Open
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus plays a backhand in her second round match against Eleni Daniilidou of Greece.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga plays a backhand in his second round match against Go Soeda of Japan.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams of the United States of America plays a backhand in her second round match against Garbine Muguruza of Spain.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray plays a forehand in his second round match against Joao Sousa of Portugal during day four of the 2013 Australian Open
Bernard Tomic
Bernard Tomic recovered from losing a first set tie-breaker to defeat German qualifier Daniel Brands in four sets.
Roger Federer
Roger Federer picked up early breaks in each set to defeat Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets in Melbourne.
Roger Federer
The pink and black shoes of Roger Federer.
Australian Open
Stefan 'Redfoo' Gordy of the American electro duo LMFAO attends the MLC Hotshots session at the Australian Open.
Australian Open
Angelique Kerber of Germany hits a return to Madison Keys of the US.
Australian Open
Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland plays a forehand in her third round match against Heather Watson of Great Britain.
Australian Open
Maria Sharapova celebrates her 6-1, 6-3 victory over Venus Williams.
Australian Open
Tomas Berdych returns a shot during his match against Jurgen Melzer.
Australian Open
Ana Ivanovic pumps her fist after beating fellow Serbian Jelena Jankovic.
Australian Open
Novak Djokovic is at full strength during his win over Radek Stepanek.
Australian Open
Jamie Hampton celebrates winning the second set during her women's singles match against Victoria Azarenka.
Australian Open
Victoria Azarenka hits a return to Jamie Hampton.
Michael Chardy
Frenchman, world number 36, Michael Chardy lines up the ball in his Australia Open third round victory over sixth-seed Juan Martin del Potro.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray exclaims his satisfaction at beating Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania in the third round of the Australian Open.
Australian Open
Gael Monfils is doubled over with exhaustion during his epic third round match against Gilles Simon.
Australian Open
Bernard Tomic and Roger Federer share a pat on the back after their third round match.
Australian Open
Serena and Venus Williams whisper tactics during their second round doubles match.
Australian Open
Caroline Wozniacki returns a shot during her third round win.
Australian Open
David Ferrer of Spain serves to Kei Nishikori of Japan during their men's singles match at the Australian Open.
Australian Open 2013
David Ferrer of of Spain plays a forehand in his fourth round match against Kei Nishikori.
Ekaterina Makarova of Russia hits a return to Angelique Kerber of Germany during their women's singles match at the Australian Open
Ekaterina Makarova of Russia hits a return to Angelique Kerber of Germany during their women's singles match at the Australian Open.
Australian Open 2013
Angelique Kerber of Germany receives medical treatment during her women's singles match against Ekaterina Makarova.
Sharapova
Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a return to Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium.
Sharapova
Maria Sharapova (right) of Russia after her fourth round match against Kirsten Flipkens.
Agnieszka Radwanska
Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland celebrates defeating Ana Ivanovic of Serbia during their women's singles match at the Australian Open.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic celebrates after his five-hour, two-minute five-set victory over Stanislas Wawrinka in the fourth round at the Australian Open.
Ana Ivanovic
Ana Ivanovic is certain she is in good form despite exiting yet another major before the quarter-finals.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova has lost just five games in her four wins at this year's Australian Open.
Australian Open 2013
ictoria Azarenka of Belarus hits a return to Elena Vesnina of Russia during their women's singles match at the Australian Open.
Australian Open 2013
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus (right) kisses Elena Vesnina of Russia after defeating her in their women's singles match at the Australian Open.
Australian Open
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga celebrates making it into the quarter finals of the Australian Open.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray of Britain celebrates defeating Gilles Simon of France.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams of the US serves to Maria Kirilenko of Russia.
Australian Open
Roger Federer of Switzerland serves to Milos Raonic of Canada.
Australian Open
Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates winning the second set during his men's singles match against Milos Raonic.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray signs autographs after his fourth round victory over Frenchman Gilles Simon.
Australian Open
Li Na celebrates her win over fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska.
Australian Open
Nicolas Almagro of Spain (L) congratulates compatriot David Ferrer after Ferrer won their men's singles quarter-final.
Australian Open
David Ferrer of Spain reacts during his men's singles quarter-final match against compatriot Nicolas Almagro.
Australian Open
Ekaterina Makarova of Russia plays a backhand in her Quarterfinal match against Maria Sharapova.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a return to compatriot Ekaterina Makarova.
Australian Open
Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates defeating Ekaterina Makarova.
Australian Open 2013
Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates defeating Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams does the splits during her quarterfinals loss to compatriot Sloane Stephens.
Serena Williams
Sloane Stephens of the US (R) shakes hands with compatriot Serena Williams after defeating her in their women's singles quarter-final match.
Australian Open
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus celebrates winning her Quarterfinal match against Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Australian Open
Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia looks on after falling in her Quarterfinal match against Victoria Azarenka.
Andy Murray  celebrates his win over Jeremy Chardy.
Andy Murray celebrates his win over Jeremy Chardy.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray during his match against Jeremy Chardy.
Jo-Wilfred Tsonga
Jo-Wilfred Tsonga of France reacts in his Quarterfinal match against Roger Federer.
Australian Open
Roger Federer of Switzerland plays a backhand in his Quarterfinal match against Jo-Wilfred Tsonga.
Li Na
Li Na swept Maria Sharapova aside 6-2 6-2 in the first semifinal at the Australian Open.
Maria Sharapova
It was not Maria Sharapova's day, winning just four games in a straight sets loss to Li Na.
Victoria Azarenka
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus plays a backhand in her Semifinal match against Sloane Stephens of the United States.
Sloane Stephens
Sloane Stephens of the United States of America plays a backhand in her Semifinal match against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a return to David Ferrer of Spain.
David Ferrer
David Ferrer of Spain reacts during his men's singles semi-final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray missed a chance to serve out the match in the fourth set, but finished off Roger Federer in the fifth.
Roger Federer
A dejected Roger Federer during his post-match press conference.
Victoria Azarenka
Victoria Azarenka bursts into tears after defeating Li Na for back-to-back Australian Open titles.
Victoria Azarenka
Belarusian Victoria Azarenka kisses the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup in the locker room as women's singles champion.
Li Na
China's Li Na grimaces after injuring her left ankle during the Australian Open women's final.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic celebrates winning a point during his Australian Open final victory over Andy Murray.

As Andy Murray marched imperiously into the Australian Open semi-finals for the fourth consecutive year tonight, his coach Ivan Lendl's influence on the third seeded Scot could hardly have been clearer.

The US Open champion's ultra-professional 6-4 6-1 6-2 victory over Jeremy Chardy took him through to his 12th grand slam semi-final as he ruthlessly exploited his opponent's weaker backhand with a number of successful raids to the net.

Murray had carried out his game-plan to perfection and within a couple of hours of finishing his match, he was back out on court, practising under the lights to get a feel for the cooler conditions he will experience on Friday.

Murray's attention to detail and desire to get straight back to work is classic Lendl.

''I played a couple of matches (in the warm-up event) in Brisbane in the evening but it's slightly different there, as well, because there's a roof,'' said Murray, who has reached the last four without dropping a set.

''And that's why tonight, rather than going and watching (Federer v Tsonga), I'll go out and hit some balls under the lights to be as best prepared as possible. And I'll do the same tomorrow.

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''At his news conference, Murray wore a T-shirt with the words ''PREPARE, ATTACK, DESTROY'' on the front, exactly what Lendl was famous for and exactly what Murray did against Chardy, a Frenchman appearing in his first grand slam quarter-final.

''I started the match pretty well, I thought,'' said Murray, who raced to a 4-0 lead.

''Then when he got a break back in the first set, I became a bit tight. He's a tough guy to play against because of the nature of his game and his style.

''He goes for a lot of shots and he can play a couple of games where he misses and then three, four games he's hot and he makes very few errors and puts you under a lot of pressure.

''But I thought I did a pretty good job throughout the match. There were a couple of games I could have done a bit better on, but for the most part it was good.''

HARD TO BEAT

Chardy's strength is his serve and his forehand but more often than not, Murray made sure that he did not have enough time or space to use them to attack.

''I wanted to make sure that I kept the ball away from the middle of the court,'' he said. ''Then I was able to hit to his backhand and come into the net sometimes.

''Murray won 17 of 20 points at the net, an excellent percentage, and also took a little pace of his average first serve to increase the emphasis on placement, varying his second serve well so that Chardy found it more difficult to attack.

''Andy had a response for everything,'' his unseeded opponent told French reporters. ''He will be very hard to beat here.

''Having won his first grand slam title in New York last September, Murray is trying to become the first man in the professional era to follow up his maiden grand slam by immediately winning another.

History may be against him but he admitted that winning the US Open had taken a lot of pressure off his shoulders.

''I feel probably a little bit calmer than usual,'' he said.

''But I still have an understanding of how difficult it is to win these events. With the players that are still left in the tournament, it's going to be a very tough, tough few days if I want to do that.

''So I'll just stay focused, work hard in my next couple of practice sessions, and hope I can finish the tournament well.

''Murray will go into the semi-finals having played all of his matches in the day session but said he was not worried about having to adjust to the cooler, evening conditions or missing out on a showpiece night match until Friday.

''If I was whoever decides the schedule, I also would have put Federer against Tsonga on as the night match tonight because it's the best match of the day,'' he said.

Reuters