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Knee injury returns to torment Nadal

Andy Murray advanced to the Australian Open semifinals when Rafael Nadal retired from their quarterfinal with a knee injury on Tuesday.

sports Updated: Jan 26, 2010 23:57 IST

Andy Murray advanced to the Australian Open semifinals when Rafael Nadal retired from their quarterfinal with a knee injury on Tuesday.

In a match which more resembled a tournament final or semifinal due to the high caliber of the players, Murray led 6-3, 7-6 (2), 3-0 when Nadal went to the net to shake Murray's hand. Murray will face Marin Cilic in the semifinals. The Croatian player beat No. 7 Andy Roddick 7-6 (4), 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3 earlier Tuesday.

“I lost to him the US Open in straight sets, so I'm looking for a little revenge,” Murray said of the 21-year-old Cilic. Roddick struggled through a right shoulder injury in the match that impaired his movement, but he expects no long-term damage.

Nadal, who struggled with knee tendinitis and was unable to defend his Wimbledon title last season after beating Roger Federer in the Australian Open final, received on-court treatment from a trainer for a right knee ailment after losing the second set. Three games later, the Spaniard decided he couldn't continue. That leaves Murray, whose only trip to a Grand Slam final ended in a loss to Roger Federer at the 2008 US Open, in the hunt to become the first British man to win a major in more than 70 years.

Cilic ousts roddick; Henin moves on

A downcast Andy Roddick blamed a shoulder injury for robbing him of the “full deal” during his five-set quarter-final loss to Croatia’s Marin Cilic on Tuesday.

Roddick struggled with the injury from the first set and took medical treatment in the second, but after battling back to square the match, he went down 7-6, 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3 at Rod Laver Arena.

On the women's side, Justine Henin moved closer to regaining her place at the top of tennis as the currently unseeded seven-time Grand Slam champion reached the semi-finals over Nadia Petrova 7-6(3), 7-5.

Henin is competing in only her second event since her return.

“Today was my first match in the sun actually since I was in Australia,” said Henin, 27. “We were playing under the roof in Brisbane.”

“Here I've played almost every match in night session. And it was quite cloudy the other day when I played in the day. It was really difficult to find a good rhythm.”

Jie is to play for the second time in a Grand Slam semi-final after reaching that stage at Wimbledon in 2008.

“For me, this is amazing,” world number 35 Jie said . “It was a tough match because she beat Maria Sharapova in the first round.”

Henin, who retired as world number one in 2008 but made a return to the sport at the start of January, showed that she has lost little of the form which took her to the top of the game before her sudden retirement.

Chinese challenge

China’s Zheng Jie has advanced to her second Grand Slam semifinal, beating Maria Kirilenko of Russia 6-1, 6-3 at the Australian Open.

Kirilenko, who defeated Maria Sharapova in the first round, received treatment for a hip or thigh problem throughout the match Tuesday and took an injury time out after the first set. The Russian double-faulted on match point.

Zheng will meet Justine Henin of Belgium in the semifinals.

Venus Williams will face another Chinese player - Na Li - at the Rod Laver Arena today in the third quarterfinal match .

Sunkara crashes out

Indian challenge at the junior Australian Open event ended with the crushing defeat of Rishika Sunkara in the girls’ singles second round here today.

The 16-year-old Indian qualifier was demolished 0-6, 2-6 by Russia’s Daria Gavrilova in the Girls’ singles second round in Melbourne.

Quarterfinal matches today:

Men’s: R Federer vs N Davydenko;

Women’s: S Williams vs V Azarenka, V Williams vs N Li