Andy Murray overcame a first set blip to defeat Gilles Muller 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 to advanced to the Queen’s Club semifinals.
“It’s always tough when you’re behind, and I wasn’t getting many chances on his serve; it was a bit frustrating,” said Murray. “In the second set I was holding my service games well but wasn’t able to get the breakthrough. Definitely towards the end I started to relax more and return better and played some really good tennis at the end. Hopefully I can carry that form into tomorrow.”
“I’m in a good place just now. Physically, I feel good… [I’m] looking forward to the next few days.”
Murray has now won 18 of his last 19 matches and 23 of 25, his only losses coming to Novak Djokovic. Next will be Novak’s countryman Viktor Troicki who beat John Isner 7-6(5), 6-3.
In the other semi, Gilles Simon booked his spot beating Milos Raonic in three sets 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.
“I feel it was really tough,” said Simon “I always lost against Milos before, and the way we played the first set I felt it would be the same; he was just playing better.
“I didn’t feel I was playing better than before or better than him, but just the score is with me and I felt okay… Finally, I could hold it until the end.”
Raonic pounded 23 aces in the losing effort. Simon will meet Kevin Anderson Saturday. The South African knocked out Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-6(7), 7-5. He won his only meeting with Simon.
In Halle, Ivo Karlovic set a record firing 45 aces in a 7-5, 6-7(8), 6-3 victory over Tomas Berdych. Karlovic has now hit 9,593 aces in 511 matches over the course of his career. He is now just 90 aces behind all-time leader Goran Ivanisevic, his Croatian compatriot, who struck 10,183 aces in 895 matches.
“Berdych returns quite well really,” said Karlovic. “That’s why lots of aces are so important. I didn’t really know how many aces I’d done. But when I heard it was 45 I new that’s a new record at once.
“The semifinal is always good, but only lasts a week. The record may hold for a long, long time.”
Ivo will face 7-time Halle champion Roger Federer in the semifinals on Saturday after the Swiss beat German Florian Mayer 6-0, 7-6. Federer leads this series 12-1 with the Croat.
“I’m happy this week is going well. This was clearly a total different opponent to the first two. I got more chances off his second serve, I was able to get into rallies easier and I had a good serving day. I thought I played very well today,” said Federer.
Kei Nishikori also advanced to the semis. After beating Jerzy Janowicz in three, he’ll take on Andrea Seppi who earned his spot when Gael Monfils retired with a hip injury in the second set down 6-1, 1-0.
“I’m feeling pretty comfortable on grass,” said Nishikori. “I had a good performance last year and these couple of matches were very intense and playing a good match. So, I’m looking forward to play Wimbledon.”
At WTA Birmingham, the semifinals are set. Kristina Mladenovic, who upset Simona Halep today in a final set breaker, will face Karolina Pliskova. Germans Angelique Kerber and Sabine Lisicki will square off in the other semi.
“It was an amazing match and a big win for me today,” Mladenovic said. “I don’t know if it’s the best one – I’ve had a few matches where I’ve beaten Top 10 players – but it’s an amazing feeling to beat Simona in this way because she’s such a good player.”
SATURDAY HALLE SCHEDULE
STADION start 13:00
 R. Federer (SUI) vs  I. Karlovic (CRO)
A. Seppi (ITA) vs  K. Nishikori (JPN)
E. Butorac (USA) / S. Lipsky (USA) vs  R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU)
SATURDAY QUEEN’S SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT start 1:15 pm
 G. Simon (FRA) vs K. Anderson (RSA)
 A. Murray (GBR) vs V. Troicki (SRB)
 D. Nestor (CAN) / L. Paes (IND) vs  M. Matkowski (POL) / N. Zimonjic (SRB)
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