Andy Murray insists he will be untroubled by the lack of rowdy support when he takes on Spain’s Juan Carlos Ferrero in today’s AEGON Championships semi-final at Queen’s Club today.
The home crowds have been relatively quiet compared to the fanatical Wimbledon support enjoyed by the world’s number-three.
The Scot, bidding to become the first British winner of the title since Bunny Austin in 1938, reached the last four of the tournament for the first time in his career with a 7-5 6-3 success over American Mardy Fish yesterday.
Ferrero despatched Belgian Steve Darcis at the same stage and although Murray acknowledges there is more of a ’club feel’ at Queen’s, he stopped short of demanding the crowd get behind him.
“I’m not going to start saying the crowd here is bad or anything,” said Murray. “I mean, compared with most tournaments, it’s absolutely packed.
“I guess it’s kind of a different atmosphere here. It’s a club feel. I don’t think the crowd are disrespectful in any way to the players. They enjoy the tennis.
“Wimbledon is noisier, but they do get great crowds here. It’s not fair to say the crowd should be making more noise. They’re entitled to do whatever they want. They’re the ones who pay for the tickets. ”If they don’t way to say anything, that’s fine. If they want to make a lot of noise, that’s up to them.“
Murray dropped just five points on his serve throughout his victory and smashed 11 aces but he is wary of the challenge presented by Ferrero, ranked 90 in the world.
“Ferrero played very well in the last two sets,” said Murray. “I saw some of the match on the TV and he was hitting the ball very well from the baseline.
“If I serve well I’ve got a chance like anybody does on grass. I need to make sure that the rest of my game is solid. There will be a lot more rallies.
“You know, Ferrero has a very good return. Like I say, he was hitting the ball well from the baseline. The rest of my game will have to be on, not just the serve and the return”.
Ferrero, who has never played the Scot on the tour, insists he will not be frightened of his reputation.
“I am feeling great and I just want to be focused on my game – be aggressive and try to enjoy it,” said Ferrero.
“I know that Andy is playing amazing. He had great results last year and also this year. He’s number three in the world, so it is going to be tough to beat him.
“But I am moving well and that is the most difficult thing on grass. I don’t want to stop right now, I want to go on to try to win the tournament.”
In the other semi-final Andy Roddick will face fellow American James Blake.
Andy Roddick, the tournament’s number two seed, also made it into the last four by defeating big-serving Croat Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (7/4) 7-6 (7/5).
Blake defeated Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny 7-6 (7/5) 6-3 to win the right to face Roddick.
Blake, who ended Roddick’s 18-match winning streak at Queen’s Club when they met at the same stage in 2006, was 5-2 down in the first set tie-break against Youzhny before winning five consecutive points.