Paris Masters: Andy Murray battles past Richard Gasquet to reach first ever semi-final
Andy Murray needed three sets to make the semi finals (Image http://news.yahoo.com/murray-reaches-semifinals-paris-masters-161452201.html)

Andy Murray continued his excellent year as he secured his place in the BNP Paribas Masters semi finals in Paris by defeating Richard Gasquet in three thrilling sets 7-6 (7) 3-6 6-3.  Having secured his place as as the world number two following Roger Federer's defeat to John Isner, he will face off against David Ferrer for a place in the final.  

Murray squeezes through 

The match was played at the highest quality throughout its two hours and thirty-eight minutes, with the momentum swinging from Murray to Gasquet and back.  The first set went down to the wire with Murray squeezing through a tense tightbreak, and after losing the second set and finding himself a break down early in the third he looked down and out. 

But as so often in his career, moments like those are when Murray suddenly produces his best tennis and after breaking back he stepped up a gear and eventually raced away from Gasquet to secure the win.

A visibly tired Murray acknowledged the effect the crowd had had, citing it as the perfect preparation for the upcoming Davis Cup final.  'The crowd was behind him.'  He said after the match.  He will be hoping this experience pays dividends when Great Britain take on Belgium in the final.  

A tired Murray determined to end the season on a high

The final event in a long season for Murray takes place between the 27th and 29th of November but before that Murray must play in the ATP World Tour Finals.  He had earlier suggested skipping it due to the quick change from a hard court surface to a clay court likely to cause injury but the ATP were quick to outlaw this.  

Instead, Murray faces the daunting task of trying to win his first ever ATP World Tour Finals one week and then securing his country's first Davis Cup since 1936 the next.  

But for now his focus remains on the Paris Masters, where Murray is finally hoping to banish his Parisian curse.  Before today, he had never made it past the quarter finals of the year's final Masters tournament, and at times he looked likely to fall at this stage again. 

Gasquet produced a typically stylish match of tennis and really should have secured the victory after going a break up in the third set.  But, Murray produced a stunning drop shot at 4-3 in the final set to secure the decisive break and served out with ease to secure his first ever semi final appearance in the tournament.  

Murray will now face David Ferrer in the semi finals with the Scot having won their last three encounters.  

Elsewhere, world number one Novak Djokovic defeated Tomas Berdych in straight sets and will face the winner of the match between Rafa Nadal and Stan Wawrinka.  

Stay tuned to VAVEL over the next few weeks for all of our build up to the huge Davis Cup final as GB take on Belgium.  We'll be bringing you more reviews of all the action, more previews and more indepth discussion.  

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