Andy Murray has reached the semi-finals of the exhibition Battle of the Brits tournament with a 6-3 7-5 win over James Ward.
Both players entered the 'Tim Henman Group' encounter knowing that they must win in order to reach the semi-finals and it is the three-time Grand Slam champion who came out on top of a hard-fought encounter.
Ward made the dream start to the match, breaking in the opening game, only to be pegged back. Nevertheless, two straight games, including a break to love gave Ward a 3-2 advantage. After a marathon game, Murray converted his fifth break point to level up the set, which he went on to claim 6-3.
In sweltering conditions, Murray was complaining of tiredness in the second set and accordingly went a break down early on. But the 33-year-old dug deep to draw level before eventually claiming his fifth break of the match for a 6-5 lead.
Though his first serve deserted him when serving for the match, he still skipped into a 40-0 lead, sealing the win with a forehand pass.
"It was really tough. Wardy played well and dictated the points early on. When he was down on his service games he fought really hard. He came up with some good stuff, but physically it was a pretty tough match," he said after the match.
"I felt my hip a little bit but it did not affect my movement. When I played in November at the Davis Cup it was; my hip was sore and I was struggling to move.
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"I felt I moved the best I had done in the three matches so that's a positive. I'm delighted I have a rest day tomorrow as I'm very tired.
"I probably could've been a bit more aggressive on my backhand. Yesterday was better than the first match. There were a lot of winners and points in defensive positions and if I can do that on backhand I will go on to the court feeling safe."
Murray is likely to play Cameron Norrie in the last four on Saturday.