Nadal sets up Murray semifinal in Miami
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Thu March 29, 2012
Rafael Nadal shows his delight after overcoming Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne.
- Former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal through to the semifinals of the Miami Masters
- Last year's runner-up will play world No. 4 Andy Murray in Florida on Friday
- Nadal triumphs in three sets against French sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
- Murray also taken the distance by Serbian ninth seed Janko Tipsarevic
(CNN) -- World No. 2 Rafael Nadal will continue his bid for a first title this year in Friday's semifinal clash against Andy Murray at the Miami Masters.
Nadal, beaten in the final of the Australian Open in late January, is seeking to become the first Spaniard to win the U.S. hard-court event. He was runner-up in Florida last year and 2008.
He booked his place in the last four with a 6-2 5-7 6-4 win over French sixth seed, while world No. 4 Murray came from a set and a break down to beat Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic 4-6 6-3 6-4 earlier on Wednesday.
"I didn't play very well," 10-time grand slam champion Nadal told the ATP Tour website after beating Tsonga at the same stage for a second year in a row.
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"I think I started the match playing really well, but later when I had the break in the second set, I started to play more defensive.
"My feeling was Jo was having much more mistakes than usual, so the match didn't have the right rhythm."
Murray won their last encounter in the Tokyo final last October, but Nadal has a 13-5 career advantage and beat the Brit in three successive grand slam semifinals in 2011.
"Playing Andy is a pleasure for me, and it's exciting playing against a player like him who pushes you to the limit on everything," said Nadal, who has also reached the semis in Doha and Indian Wells this year. "The negative thing is I have to recover well."
Playing Andy is a pleasure for me, and it's exciting playing against a player like him who pushes you to the limit
Murray looked to be heading for the exit when he received medical attention for a stomach complaint in the second set, but soon turned the match around breaking Tipsarevic's next service game before going on to clinch the set.
"Today's match was really important for me to get through after how it was going," Murray said. "I came up with some big serves and served my way out of trouble, which is important.
"They were tough, tough conditions. Because of the wind, I was maybe trying to hit it too close to the line and not building the points as much I needed to. So when I did that, I did a bit better."
Defending champion Novak Djokovic will play Spanish fifth seed in Thursday's night match in Key Biscayne, with the winner to face either American eighth seed Mardy Fish or Argentine No. 1 Juan Monaco in the semis.
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