Monte Carlo: Czech Tomas Berdych overpowered world number four Andy Murray in their Monte Carlo Masters quarter-final on Friday to reach the last four for the second time in the season`s first big claycourt event.
Berdych, the sixth seed, made the Briton dizzy as he relied on his powerful forehand to prevail 6-7 6-2 6-3 in two hours and 48 minutes.
The Czech, who already reached the semi-final of the Mediterranean glamour tournament in 2007, will face either world number one Novak Djokovic or Dutchman Robin Haase in the next round.
On a chilly morning, Murray had the luck to grab the opening set as Berdych wasted four set-point chances in the 12th game before faltering in the tie-break.
As the sun eventually shone and the sea glittered, the world number seven tightened his grip and hit numerous winners to unsettle a frustrated Murray, who now has a 2-4 win-loss record against Berdych.
"He played extremely well today. He dictated a lot of the points. He went for his shots. He served very well, I think, too," Murray told reporters.
The Scot - who spent most of the match far behind his baseline - struggled with his footwork and made unusual errors, including a backhand smash which went wide to grant Berdych a decisive break in the third set`s third game.
"There are a lot of things I would have liked to have done better," added Murray, who was playing his first clay event this season.
"It takes a lot of time for me to do it on this surface. It doesn`t come straightaway. It takes time for me to understand the way I`m needing to play."