Andy Murray to play Rafael Nadal in Madrid semi-finals

Defending champion Andy Murray beat Tomas Berdych 6-3 6-2 to progress to the semi-finals of the Madrid Open.

The Scot produced arguably his best performance of the season to record a first win over the Czech on clay.

Murray, who beat 16th seed Gilles Simon to reach the quarter-finals, won 92% of his first-serve points and denied eighth-seed Berdych any break points.

The world number two, 28, will face nine-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal in the last four.

Home favourite Nadal, who is looking for a third successive tournament victory following his wins in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, beat Portuguese world number 35 Joao Sousa 6-0 4-6 6-3.

Murray broke Berdych’s first service game of the match and quickly established a 3-0 lead in the opening set.

World number eight Berdych managed to hold off another break opportunity at 5-2, but Murray won his next service game to take the set in 45 minutes.

Murray then broke Berdych’s serve in the fifth game of the second set, before closing out the match with minimal fuss to complete the victory in one hour and 16 minutes.

The former Wimbledon and US Open champion says he is ready for a possible semi-final against Nadal, after training with the 14-time Grand Slam winner ahead of the tournament.