Murray rolls at Legg Mason Tennis

August 4, 2006 09:02 PM
Arnaud Clement 225 w

WASHINGTON (Ticker) - For the first time in his career, Arnaud Clement was able to outplay Lleyton Hewitt.

The 11th seed from France, Clement upset the third-seeded Australian, 7-6 (7-1), 6-4, on Friday to reach the semifinals of the $600,000 U.S. Open warmup event.

The winner here in 2004, Hewitt had been 7-1 lifetime against Clement, with the only loss occurring in a walkover.

Clement will face Russian Marat Safin in the semifinals.

Safin moved on with a hard-fought 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (11-9) triumph over South African Wesley Moodie. Safin had upset top seed James Blake on Thursday night.

Andy Murray 225 w
In the bottom half, eighth seed Andy Murray of Great Britain easily defeated the last remaining American, No. 16 Mardy Fish, 6-2, 6-4.

"I didn't play too well on hardcourts at the start of the year," Murray said. "I got five good days of practice in and was maybe rusty in my first game but I've been getting better. Today was my best. I think the second set was the best six games I've played.

Murray is playing his first tournament under new coach Brad Gilbert, who guided Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick to Grand Slam titles and the top of the world rankings.

"Brad and I spoke at the end of the match," Murray said. "He was disappointed, thought I got tentative at the end. I still thought I was playing good tennis.

"I don't think I am a better tennis player yet. But technically, I'm getting there. My game isn't that much better yet but I'm gaining confidence."

Murray, who looked up to Tim Henman growing up, will not get a chance to face the Brit in the semifinals.

Henman was easily beaten by seventh-seeded Russian Dmitry Tursunov, 6-3, 6-2.

"On a night like tonight, sometimes I do wonder," said Henman referring about his will to win. "The way he played, I found myself feeling like a spectator. But I feel good about my own game at this point in the summer."

Henman, who has lost four times to Tursunov since Wimbledon in 2005, failed to muster a break of serve against his nemesis.