Murray defuses Karlovic serve for Cincinnati finals place

Other News Materials 3 August 2008 01:29 (UTC +04:00)

Andy Murray strangled the serve of Ivo Karlovic, holding the tallest man in tennis to a mere six on the way to a 6-4, 6-4 win in the semi-finals of the Cincinnati Masters on Saturday.

The Scot will lift to his best career ATP ranking when he moves to sixth on Monday only days before the start of the Beijing Olympic event, the dpa reported.

Murray's dream of a top eight US Open seeding looks to be a reality after his runaway performance as he defeated Karlovic easily two days after the Croatian had upset Roger Federer.

Murray will face off on Sunday against the winner from number one- to-be Rafael Nadal and third-ranked Novak Djokovic.

Karlovic had been dominant on serve before falling to Murray, coming to the court after holding serve in 49 of 50 games and sending down a week-best 81 aces.

Murray, now 34-12 on this season, is one win away from his third title of the season after claiming one in each of the first two months of the season.

The 21-year-old winner was playing in his second consecutive Masters semi after going down to Nadal a week ago in Toronto after knocking out Djokovic in the quarter-finals.

Murray went down a break in the first set, but recovered with two of his own as he claimed the opener in just under 40 minutes.

In the second Murray came through a marathon game in which Karlovic saved seven break points before going down on his eighth to hand over a 1-0 lead.

Murray didn't let up the pressure even as Karlovic broke back for 3-3, with the eighth seed from Dunblane claiming a 5-4 lead and clinching victory a game later on his second winning chance.