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Fish dispatches jaded Nadal to earn Murray clash

Mardy Fish celebrates his first victory over Spanish superstar Rafael Nadal.
Mardy Fish celebrates his first victory over Spanish superstar Rafael Nadal.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mardy Fish shocks second seed Rafael Nadal at Cincinnati Masters
  • Top-ranked American Fish wins 6-3 6-4 to continue his fine recent form
  • He will play Britain's Andy Murray who beat Gilles Simon in straight sets

(CNN) -- In-form Mardy Fish thrashed world number two Rafael Nadal 6-3 6-4 to march into the semifinals of the Masters 1000 event in Cincinnati Friday.

Victory earned the seventh-seeded American a clash against fourth-ranked Andy Murray of Britain, who he beat in the corresponding tournament last year.

The seventh seed, who pushed world number one Novak Djokovic all the way in the Montreal Masters final last week, continued that superb form against a listless Nadal.

Fish claimed the early break against Nadal, who had been involved in a marathon tussle with fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco the previous evening, and never looked back.

He wrapped up the first set in 43 minutes and broke through in the fifth game of the second as Nadal sent a forehand wide on break point against him.

Fish, who was serving magnificently, never looked like surrendering the advantage and carved out three match points before winning it with a forehand passing shot after one hour 43 minutes.

He's kicked my butt six times and it feels pretty good to have turned it around
--Mardy Fish
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It was his first victory in seven attempts against the indominatable Nadal as he acknowledged in his post-match interview.

"He's kicked my butt six times and it feels pretty good to have turned it around," he told Sky Sports.

"I'm so much more confident right now and if I was to choose a surface and a court I would choose this one," he added.

Murray, who crashed out in ignominious fashion in his opener in Montreal last week, has been showing much improved form and saw off France's Gilles Simon 6-3 6-3 in an early morning encounter.

"It is good when you win to get it out of the way," Murray told Sky Sports.

"I managed to get through and look forward to the next one."

In the other men's quarterfinals later in the day, world number one Novak Djokovic faced French sixth seed Gael Monfils and world number three Roger Federer took on sixth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych