Andy Murray reaches Rothesay Open semi-finals after seeing off Dominic Stricker

Andy Murray reaches Rothesay Open semi-finals after seeing off Dominic Stricker

Andy Murray completed a clean sweep of British victories on Nottingham’s Centre Court to make it through to the semi-finals of the Rothesay Open.

After Jodie Burrage, Katie Boulter and Heather Watson all reached the last four of the women’s event, Murray defeated Dominic Stricker 7-6 (2) 7-5 for his eighth-successive victory.

The 36-year-old is bidding to win a second-successive title on the second-tier Challenger Tour having triumphed in Surbiton last week and is yet to drop a set in Nottingham.

He said of the home success in his on-court interview: “Obviously this week’s been great. A couple of weeks ago we were hearing British tennis wasn’t doing well. Things change a lot on a week-to-week basis.

“You just want all of the players to reach their potential, make sure everyone’s working hard.

“Not everyone is going to win Wimbledon and grand slams but you just want to make sure everyone is making the most of this amazing opportunity to play tennis for a living.

“This week has obviously been brilliant, the women have done extremely well and hopefully that continues through the year. It should be a fun weekend for the British tennis fans.”

He did not have things all his own way against 20-year-old Swiss Stricker, with neither man able to create a break point in the opening set.

Andy Murray plays a backhand volley
Andy Murray (pictured) next faces Portugal’s Nuno Borges (Nigel French/PA)

Murray played a fine tie-break to move in front, clenching his fist as he sat down in his chair, but it was Stricker who made the first move in the second set.

The eighth seed took his third chance to break for 3-1 only for Murray to respond straight away and Stricker then took a medical time-out for treatment to his back.

With the clock ticking past 8pm, Murray pushed for another break and finally got it, a Stricker backhand dropping wide to give his opponent the chance to serve for the match – and the Scot made no mistake.

Murray, who next faces Portugal’s Nuno Borges, feels he is heading firmly in the right direction, saying: “It was a really, really tight match today against one of the best young players in the world.

“He has a really good game, huge shots from the back of the court but also really nice touch up at the net.

“I’m really glad to get through that one because it was really close. That’s the best I’ve played across the last two weeks in terms of how I hit the ball and everything. It was really positive.”