Sep 6 2012
Andy Murray has cautioned the world's media against underestimating Tomas Berdych - and it is certainly not a mistake he will be making when they meet in the US Open semi-finals.
Ahead of the quarter-finals, the focus was on a potential rematch between Murray and Roger Federer after their clashes in the Wimbledon and Olympic finals this summer, but Berdych had not read the script and promptly dismissed the Swiss in four sets to set up his own tie with the Scot.
At Wimbledon two years ago, the Czech beat Federer in the last eight and then saw off Novak Djokovic before falling to Rafael Nadal in the final, and Murray warned: "You need to be smart against him. You need to use good variation and try not to give him the same ball over and over, because he likes that."
Murray is already well aware of the danger posed by Berdych, having lost four of his six previous meetings with the world number seven, most recently on clay in Monte Carlo earlier this year.
And the third seed knows he certainly must start better than he did against Marin Cilic on Wednesday if he is to reach a fifth grand slam final.
On his bete noire, Louis Armstrong Stadium, Murray began so sluggishly that he was a set and 5-1 down to Cilic before pulling himself through, with more than a little help from a nervous opponent.
The good news for Murray is he will certainly be on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday, where he has put in his two best performances of the tournament, especially in beating Canadian rising star Milos Raonic in the fourth round.
The Scot managed largely to stay on an even keel mentally against Cilic despite his struggles, a legacy of the work he has done with coach Ivan Lendl.
Murray said: "You never know exactly what's going to happen in the next couple of days but I would hope that, going into the match on Saturday, I'll be in a good place mentally.
"I'll fight from the first point to the last. If I do that, I'll give myself a shot. But I can't afford to start like I did (on Wednesday night), that's for sure."