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Murray's feat of clay as he makes short work of Raonic; TENNIS.

ANDY Murray found his form on clay to thrash Milos Raonic 6-2 6-0 and reach the semi-finals of the MonteCarlo Masters for the third time.

Murray struggled through his opening two matches against Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Benoit Paire, trailing by a set and a double break against the latter on Thursday before somehow finding a way through.

Perhaps surviving that scare - with a lot of help from a nervous opponent - snapped Murray back into gear as he was focused and ruthless against an ailing Raonic.

The Canadian has stepped up a level this season and pushed Murray to the limit in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

However, physical frailty, an Achilles heel throughout his career, cost him that day and it was the same here.

He received treatment to his leg in his third-round win over Damir Dzumhur, the second successive match in which he was taken to a deciding tiebreak.

Raonic looked sluggish from the off against Murray, who was able to take full advantage of the Canadian's errors.

His serve, which had been so shaky against Paire, was on song and he did not have to save a single break point all match.

Two breaks of Raonic's big serve helped Murray win the first set and the second was one-way traffic, the world No 2 wrapping up victory after only an hour and six minutes.

It was Murray's best performance since the Australian Open and he will take on either eight-time champion Rafael Nadal or French Open winner Stan Wawrinka in the last four.

The Scots aid: : "The two most important shots in tennis I did really well. I served very well and my return was very good.

"When he missed the first serve, I was being very offensive.

"The serve and return were the best they have been in a while and I'm glad because they weren't so strong in the last two matches."

| JAMIE Murray remained unbeaten as world No 1 as he and Brazilian partner Bruno Soares reached the semi-finals of the doubles.

With only a five-point lead over former incumbent Marcelo Melo, Murray must maintain his excellent form with Soares to hold on to top spot.

They certainly had no complaints after a 6-2 6-3 win over sixth seeds Rohan Bopanna of India and Romanian Florin Mergea, setting up a last-four clash with Brazilian Melo and his Croatian partner Ivan Dodig.

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Andy Murray in Monte-Carlo

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 16, 2016
Words:404
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