MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Andy Murray thinks he played his best tennis of the tournament during his Australian Open quarter-final victory over David Ferrer on Wednesday after a tough few days when he was distracted by his father-in-law’s illness.
The 28-year-old Scot came through a three-hour, 20-minute tussle with the Spanish eighth seed 6-3 6-7(5) 6-2 6-3 to take his place in the semi-finals for the sixth time in seven years.
His win contributed to the best week for Britain at a Grand Slam for nearly 40 years, with Johanna Konta into the last four of the women’s draw and Murray’s brother Jamie into the last four of the men’s doubles with Brazil’s Bruno Soares.
“I think today was probably the best match I played, especially in the second and third set. I started hitting the ball better from the back of the court.
“Obviously the last few days have been tough and maybe I hadn’t played my best tennis and managed to get through.”
Murray endured a worrisome few days after Nigel Sears, the father of his wife Kim and coach of Ana Ivanovic, collapsed in the stands at the Rod Laver Arena and was taken to hospital on Saturday.
Sears was discharged on Sunday after being examined by a cardiologist and given the all-clear to join his pregnant daughter back home in Britain, leaving Murray free to focus on his tennis.
The former Wimbledon champion, four times a losing finalist at Melbourne Park, has now reached the semi-finals or better at four of his last five grand slams.
“Obviously I want to win these events. That’s why I’m still playing. After a tough year in 2014, I think I’m now sort of established again at the top of the game and giving myself chances.
“That’s all I can keep doing. And working hard. I’ll give it my best in the next few days.”
Murray will play Milos Raonic, who beat Gael Monfils in the last quarter-final, as he bids to reach a fifth Australian Open final.
Reflecting on the strong British showing, Murray said: “It’s pretty good for us to have people competing in almost all of the competitions.”
“It’s been a good Australian Open so far. Hopefully we can keep it going.”
(Editing by Angus MacSwan)