MADRID, SPAIN (MAY 10, 2013) (IMG/TPL) - World number three Andy Murray's latest bid for a maiden career title on clay ended when he was beaten 7-6 6-4 by sixth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych in the Madrid Open quarter-finals on Friday (May 10).
The Briton had lost both of his previous two matches on the red dust against Berdych, who was runner-up to Roger Federer last year, and produced an erratic performance this time.
"It was a tough game and I'm really happy with the way I played and it's good to be in the semi-final again and have a chance to play even more," Berdych said after his win.
Murray battled through a gruelling three-hour encounter against Frenchman Gilles Simon on Thursday (May 9) that finished after one o'clock in the morning local time (2300 GMT) and the Scot appeared increasingly weary as Friday's match wore on.
He said he was suffering from a sore hip at the start.
"It's just a little back issue that I had the last couple of years on the clay," Murraysaid.
"I did also play a very long match yesterday, you know I finished extremely late and it was a bit stiffer probably than usual at the beginning but once I warmed up I felt better," he added.
Big-hitting Berdych, who is yet to win a title in 2013, will take on 15th seed Stanislas Wawrinka for a place in Sunday's final after the Swiss beat seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 6-2 6-7 6-4 in Friday's late game.
But Japan's Kei Nishikori, seeded 14th, failed to reach the semi-finals after being beaten by Pablo Andujar of Spain. Andujar, a wild card ranked 113 in the world, won 6-3 7-5 and will next play compatriot Rafa Nadal.