History no part to play, says Andy Murray

Andy Murray insists an “embarrassing” defeat to Roger Federer in their last meeting will have no bearing on his bid to reach a third Wimbledon final.

History no part to play, says Andy Murray

The 28-year-old Scot must become the first man to beat Federer in a Wimbledon semi-final tomorrow, to keep his bid for a second title on track.

Federer has won all nine of his previous semi-finals in the grass-court grand slam and will be eyeing another final after beating France’s Gilles Simon 6-3 7-5 6-2 to extend his latest bid for a record eighth Wimbledon crown.

Murray swept past Vasek Pospisil, winning 6-4 7-5 6-4, while on the other side of the draw defending champion Novak Djokovic eased past Marin Cilic in straight sets to book a last-four battle with Richard Gasquet.

Against most expectations, Gasquet edged a vintage five-set tussle with French Open winner Stan Wawrinka, earning a 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-4 11-9 victory.

Murray took just one game off 17-time grand slam champion Federer in the ATP World Tour Finals late last year, but refuses to accept that will colour the pair’s last-four Wimbledon tussle.

Federer does not expect the 6-0 6-1 triumph over a “cooked” Murray in November to play any part tomorrow either, claiming Britain’s double grand slam winner is “in full flight now”.

“It was obviously embarrassing, the scoreline,” said Murray of that November defeat to Federer in London.

“I was actually quite calm after that match.

“A lot of people in my team, people around me, were very, very worried by that match.

“I felt quite calm about it.

“I looked at the weeks before then, the matches also that I played at the O2, the matches I played against Novak (Djokovic) over that period as well, and said, ’Where am I going wrong against the top guys and what is it that I need to do to get back to that level competing with them?’.

“I dealt with it that way and tried to be rational about it.

“I came back and played some extremely good tennis at the beginning of the year in Australia.

“It was a tough loss for sure but I tried to deal with it in the right way.” Federer saw off Murray to claim the 2012 Wimbledon title, before the Scot was a resounding winner against his Swiss rival to claim Olympic gold at the All-England Club later that same summer.

That London 2012 triumph handed Murray the impetus and mental strength to go on and land the US Open later in the summer and the Wimbledon title in July 2013, but now he believes his history with Federer will not affect Friday’s tussle.

“Previous matches kind of go out the window on the day,” said Murray. “You can learn things from those matches, maybe some tactical things.

“But I don’t think those matches in the past will have too much bearing on the outcome on Friday.” Basle native Federer registered a classy victory over France’s world number 13 Simon, in which he held a record 116th consecutive service game.

Grass master Federer eclipsed the previous record of 111, set by Australia’s Wayne Arthurs in 1999, then predicted his 10th Wimbledon semi-final would prove a real contest against the in-form Murray.

“In the World Tour Finals, he came in tired,” said Federer.

“He had won three tournaments back-to-back; he left everything out there making the World Tour Finals.

“I think when I played him he was a bit cooked, to be honest. It was not the Andy that usually shows up.

“He’s one of the greatest return players we have in the game, and he’s got a great first serve. He came through convincingly again, so he must be playing well.

“Plus he won Queen’s; he’s in full flight right now.”

Gasquet revelled in gaining “revenge” for Wawrinka edging him out in a five-set battle at the French Open in 2013.

The 29-year-old then also admitted he will be up against it when facing world number one Djokovic, who dismissed him 6-1 6-2 6-3 in the last 16 at Roland Garros this year.

“It’s a revenge for me a little bit,” said Gasquet of beating Wawrinka.

“But it was a tough match, he’s serving great. He’s a big fighter, he’s playing very, very well.

“It’s great to win, come back here in the semis eight years later. It’s a long time since 2007.

“Winning this match is very important for me.

“I played Djokovic in Paris, I tried to control the game but couldn’t.

“So I want to enjoy it and play better than in Paris.

“Novak is the favourite, everybody knows that, but I want to take my chance and we will see what happens.” Djokovic eased into the last four and then anticipated a tough test against Gasquet on Friday, hailing the Frenchman’s boost in fitness for his recent strong form.

“It’s a great effort from Richard to win against Stan, who is in a terrific form, and five sets,” said Djokovic. “I think the biggest difference with Richard now, maybe comparing to the last couple years, is his fitness.

“I think he improved a lot. I heard he worked hard to get himself really fit and ready to go the distance, and it’s paying off.”

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