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Andy Murray will take on Rafael Nadal in the semi final at the 2011 Wimbledon, after both men came through their quarter finals in relatively comfortable fashion. Murray defeated Spaniard, Feliciano Lopez in straight sets, while Nadal got the better of American Mardy Fish, although he did drop a set on his way to an otherwise easy win.

Having played really well on grass so far this year, Murray now knows that he will have to almost ‘move a mountain’ if he is to get by Nadal to make his first Wimbledon final. There is no doubt that Nadal currently holds an unquestionably huge psychological advantage over the Scot.

Not only is Nadal the defending Wimbledon Champion, he is unbeaten in his last 19 games in SW19, he is also the world number one, a ten time Grand Slam winner, the reigning champion at both the French and US Opens and has beaten Murray two from two in their past encounters at Wimbledon. The first of those encounters came in 2008, where Nadal won in straight sets in the quarter final before going on to win the Wimbledon crown for the first time. The second time was exactly 12 months ago at this stage in the tournament where the Spaniard once again won in straight sets.

Little wonder therefore why the Bookmakers make Nadal an emphatic 4/9 odds on favourite to make the final, they also make him 5/4 favourite to win the tournament. Murray on the other hand is a 7/4 shot to beat Nadal and a 9/2 shot to win his first Grand Slam.

There is no doubt that Murray is enjoying his best Wimbledon to date, it is his third semi final in a row and his form has been outstanding. With some further improvement he will be even better for when he comes up against Nadal, but above everything he will need total belief if he is to topple the World number one player.

The two last met at this stage in the French Open last month, where once again, Nadal triumphed and did so in three straight sets. However as we all know, the French Open is played on a clay surface, which is perfect for Nadal but necessarily so for Murray. Nonetheless the Scot put up a terrific battle and the match was a lot closer than the result suggested. The two also met in the semi final of the Monte Carlo Masters in May, also on clay and which Nadal also won, but in that match Murray did take the second set and at that point in the match he looked the better of the two players.

It would be easy to write Murray off for this match and no doubt there will be many that will. However, Nadal will not find Murray so easy this time around and one can expect Murray to put up a performance of a lifetime in front of a partisan crowd who are warming to Murray more and more each year.

This semi final has the potential to be one of the best in the history of the tournament and the bet to be on is for the match to go on for several hours, with Nadal finally edging out Murray with the very narrowest of victories over five exhilarating sets.

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