Tag Archives: nadal

Newcastle"s Yohan Cabaye talks about his battle with depression

Cabaye reveals battle with depression and how words from Wilkinson and Nadal helped him bounce back

. It was then depression caught up with him.

Cabaye told L’Equipe: ‘Depression I am not afraid to say that. It was that.

Back to his best: Yohan Cabaye has struggled to recapture his brilliant first year, until now

Back to his best: Yohan Cabaye has struggled to recapture his brilliant first year, until now

‘I was reassured reading the books of Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal, who both talked about the same thing. They talked about post competition depression and the need to have a break.

‘Euro 2012 was the first big international competition I had played. It is completely different than what you could experience in daily life with your club.

‘My season was long in a league where the pace is higher than in Le Championnat. I started with Newcastle early in July 2011 and finished late in June 2012 and, for the very first time, I didn’t have any winter break so then to resume in July 2012, it was very difficult.

Fatigue: Cabaye suffered the effects of the domestic season when he joined up with France for Euro 2012

Fatigue: Cabaye suffered the effects of the domestic season when he joined up with France for Euro 2012

'Maybe it is difficult to start again after a big competition such as the Euros, but my body didn’t allow me to do what I wanted to do.

‘On a morning when I woke up, I could still feel tiredness. I wanted to think about something else rather than football.’

Cabaye believes that rather than a curse, his groin injury at the end of last year helped reignite his time at Newcastle.

‘I am lucky to earn a living with my passion, but it was the right moment for a break. So my groin injury at the end of the year was finally not such a bad thing. Maybe that is why I was back earlier than expected.

Help: Books by Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal helped Cabaye combat his depression

Help: Books by Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal helped Cabaye combat his depression

Help: Books by Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal helped Cabaye combat his depression

‘I asked myself a lot of questions. As long as you didn’t experience it (depression) you cannot understand. But I was not worried.

‘My injury allowed me to have some rest, meet my family and friends in Lille. When I was back in Newcastle in December I knew I felt better.’

Rafael Nadal beats David Ferrer 6-0 6-2 in Mexican Open final

Nadal crushes Ferrer to claim Mexican Open title… and he's raring to go for Indian Wells!

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

12:32 GMT, 3 March 2013

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UPDATED:

12:44 GMT, 3 March 2013

A dominant Rafa Nadal dismantled fellow Spaniard David Ferrer 6-0 6-2 on Saturday to win his second Mexican Open title and continue his successful comeback from a long injury lay-off.

Nadal, ranked fifth in the world, needed just over an hour to dispatch top seed Ferrer and was delighted with his form.

'For me, I played almost perfectly,' said Nadal following the match. 'My knee responded well all week.'

King of clay: Rafael Nadal collects his trophy wearing a sombrero in Acapulco

King of clay: Rafael Nadal collects his trophy wearing a sombrero in Acapulco

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Moving on: The Spaniard will play in the Indian Wells Masters tournament next week

Nadal also confirmed he would play in next week's Indian Wells hard-court tournament, despite speculation he might skip the event to spare his knee.

'My heart tells me I should continue competing, that I need to move on to the next tournament,' he added.

Nadal had been sidelined for more than seven months due to a partially torn tendon in his knee. He made his return early last month at the Chilean Open, losing in the final to Argentine Horacio Zeballos. A week later he claimed the Brazil Open title.

Easy: Nadal dropped just two games and was on court for little more than an hour against David Ferrer

Easy: Nadal dropped just two games and was on court for little more than an hour against David Ferrer

Easy: Nadal dropped just two games and was on court for little more than an hour against Ferrer

The former world number one charged out of the blocks and won the first eight games against three-time defending champion Ferrer, who saw his 19-match winning streak at the clay-court event come to an end.

'Rafa was just better than me today,' said Ferrer.

World No 4 Ferrer waited 44 minutes to win his first game of the final, the crowd erupting in applause as he put away a service winner to trail 2-1 in the second set.

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Success: Nadal added the Mexican title to his triumph in Brazil and final in Chile since his return from injury

Crushed: Ferrer admitted his compatriot was the better man on the day

Crushed: Ferrer admitted his compatriot was the better man on the day

With Ferrer serving down 3-1, an extended rally in which both players scrambled back and forth from the net ended with a top-spin lob winner by Nadal, bringing the crowd to its feet and the score to 30-30.

Second seed Nadal, the 2005 Mexican Open champion, won the next two points to go up two breaks in the set and virtually put the match away.

Rafael Nadal inspired by Ronaldo

Nadal takes inspiration from Ronaldo after Brazil legend watches Rafa's winning return

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

16:52 GMT, 18 February 2013

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UPDATED:

16:52 GMT, 18 February 2013

Rafael Nadal is drawing inspiration from Brazilian football great Ronaldo to continue his successful return from injury.

With Ronaldo watching, Nadal took an important step on Sunday by winning the Brazil Open for his first title after a seven-month layoff to treat his left knee. Now he wants to repeat the Brazilian’s successful story of recovery from much more serious injuries.

Nadal said Ronaldo is “an example” to be followed because of his determination to rebound from a series of knee injuries that threatened his career.

Fan: Former footballer Ronaldo (left) watched Rafael Nadal with Brazilian mixed martial artist Anderson Silva

Fan: Former footballer Ronaldo (left) watched Rafael Nadal with Brazilian mixed martial artist Anderson Silva

Despite winning again, the Spaniard is still bothered by his knee and said he is far from fully recovered, although he hopes the victory in front of Ronaldo will mark a new beginning in his career.

'Ronaldo is an example to a lot of people because of all that he was able to achieve despite what he had to go through with all the knee problems in his career,' Nadal said. 'He is definitely an example to me. He’s an example of determination and hard work.'

Ronaldo ended his career as one of the world’s top strikers after overcoming three serious knee operations. The former Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and AC Milan striker won two World Cups with Brazil and remains the tournament’s all-time leading scorer with 15 goals.

Nadal said he has always admired Ronaldo, and as a kid proudly took a photo with the striker when he played for Barcelona in the late 1990s.

'He was unstoppable, one of the best players of all time despite all the bad luck he had with the knee,' Nadal said.

The Spaniard was out of action since last year because a torn and inflamed tendon in his knee, an injury that he says is improving but still bothers him from time to time. He downplayed his difficulties compared to Ronaldo’s, but said he now has a better understanding of what the Brazilian had to go through.

'I didn’t have so many problems, I never needed the surgeries,' Nadal said. 'But I can imagine how hard it must have been for Ronaldo with the complicated surgeries that he had to go through.'

Taste of victory: Nadal bites the trophy of the Brazil Open after beating David Nalbandian

Taste of victory: Nadal bites the trophy of the Brazil Open after beating David Nalbandian

Nadal beat former world No. 3 David Nalbandian of Argentina 6-2, 6-3 in Brazil on Sunday, winning his 51st career title and first since beating Novak Djokovic to lift his seventh Roland Garros trophy last June.

The Brazil Open was Nadal’s second tournament since his return. He played at the VTR Open in Chile the week before, losing the singles and doubles final. The final in Brazil was only his eighth singles match since the comeback. He withdrew from the doubles in Sao Paulo to rest his knee for the singles tournament.

Nadal looked far from his best in his first two tournaments and said that the knee injury still limited him physically.

'There are days that the knee still hurts and it’s very complicated,' he said. 'I need some time to keep improving and become more competitive again. Let’s see how it goes.'

Road to recovery: Nadal found some form in Sao Paulo yesterday

Road to recovery: Nadal found some form in Sao Paulo yesterday

The 11-time Grand Slam champion admitted that the level of the competition in Brazil was not as high as in other tournaments but said that it wasn’t bad either, giving him the perfect opportunity to put his knee to test.

Nadal will play another clay-court tournament in Mexico later this month and the goal is to be fully fit again by the time Roland Garros arrives in May, although his future schedule will depend on how the knee holds up. He had intended to play in Indian Wells in March, but on Sunday said that he won’t know whether he will make it until closer to the tournament.

'We are thinking day-to-day, week-to-week,' the 26-year-old Nadal said. 'We’ll see how I feel before making a decision on where I’ll be playing in the near future, it will depend on how the knee improves.'

Australian Open 2012: Novak Djokovic reached quarter-finals after beating Stanislas Wawrinka in five sets

Djokovic survives scare from Swiss No 2 Wawrinka as he comes through early morning marathon

By
Mike Dickson

PUBLISHED:

14:43 GMT, 20 January 2013

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UPDATED:

19:07 GMT, 20 January 2013

It was 1.42am when we saw the shirt ripped off and Novak Djokovic reveal that increasingly familiar torso – the sight which says: ‘You just can’t beat me’.

Stanislas Wawrinka had played like a raging bull for five hours and two minutes, cutting and thrusting with a brutal forehand and elegant backhand. Still it was not enough to finish off a competitor whose spirit makes him stand alongside the greats of the game.

An astonishing half-volleyed paddle at a sharp angle delivered the final blow and Djokovic had made it into the last eight of the Australian Open with a 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7, 12-10 victory against the No 15 seed.

Time to relax: Novak Djokovic tweeted this picture of his post-match massage after seeing off Stanislas Wawrinka in an epic five-setter

Time to relax: Novak Djokovic tweeted this picture of his post-match massage after seeing off Stanislas Wawrinka in an epic five-setter

 Djokovic celebrated in his usual manner, ripping his shirt off after taking the fifth set 12-10

Winner: Djokovic celebrated in his usual manner, ripping his shirt off after taking the fifth set 12-10

It took until the early hours of the morning for Djokovic and Wawrinka to complete their five-set marathon

Tired: It took until the early hours of the morning for these two to complete their five-set marathon

Wawrinka won the fourth set tie-break and broke early in the second set, but Djokovic came back to win

Wawrinka won the fourth set tie-break and broke early in the second set, but Djokovic came back to win

So close: Wawrinka won the fourth set tie-break and broke early in the second set, but Djokovic came back to win

The Swiss had been given a fairly easy ride so far, but the World No 1 was always going to be a tough challenge

Shock to the system: The Swiss had been given a fairly easy ride so far, but the World No 1 was always going to be a tough challenge

January is not done, but already there
is a contender for match of the year and, unquestionably, the match of
the year’s first Grand Slam. The 25 year-old Serb is through to face
Tomas Berdych and how much of a toll this has taken remains to be seen.

Last year he managed to rebound from a
match of four hours, 50 minutes against Andy Murray in the last four to
overcome Rafael Nadal and win the final in five hours, 53 minutes. So
there is no reason for the 27-year-old Czech powerhouse to think that
some of the work has been done for him.

Murray’s effort in the US Open final,
when he emphatically put Djokovic away in the fifth set and caused him
to severely cramp, was left looking all the more impressive by the
Serb’s typical refusal to submit and the way his body held up.

The 25-year-old Scot was this morning
due to play Gilles Simon, who featured in another late-night epic on
Saturday against compatriot Gael Monfils, although that was not in the
same bracket of quality as this five- part drama.

Wawrinka, Switzerland’s eternal
bridesmaid to Roger Federer, did everything but win this match and again
showed that he is capable of causing extreme discomfort to the very
best players if they are slightly below their top level.

The Serb is attempting to win his third consecutive Australian Open, which no man has managed before

Big dreams: The Serb is attempting to win his third consecutive Australian Open, which no man has managed before

There were five deuces in Wawrinka's final service game, and the Swiss played a stunning final rally, but Djokovic was just too good

There were five deuces in Wawrinka's final service game, and the Swiss played a stunning final rally, but Djokovic was just too good

Shattered: There were five deuces in Wawrinka's final service game, and the Swiss played a stunning final rally, but Djokovic was just too good

Djokovic felt that his experience of
these situations was the difference. ‘In the end these kind of matches
help your confidence, they are what you live for and practise for,’ he
said.

‘I had a flashback of the 2012 finals.
I feel sorry that one of us had to lose, but I am just thrilled that I
was able to fight up until the last moment.’

That Wawrinka cannot quite deliver the
knockout punch explains why he has spent much of his career just
outside the top 10. ‘It was the best match I have ever played and the
worst I’ve ever felt afterwards,’ he said. ‘I fought like a dog.’ He
will look upon the four break points he created at 4-4 in the deciding
set and ponder how he failed to make one count, particularly the last of
them.

That was when he drilled an unplayable
service return onto the baseline only for the line judge to mistakenly
call it out. Wawrinka had one Hawkeye challenge left but neglected to
use it. Umpire Enrique Molina declined to over-rule and his foe escaped.

Whether he would have gone on to serve
out the match we will never know and such is Djokovic’s capacity to get
himself out of scrapes that it cannot be assumed.

Djokovic has won the last two titles
here and, with the exception of September’s defeat in New York, not
lost in one of the hard-court Grand Slams since 2010.

Djokovic will face Czech Tomas Berdych in the quarters, after Berdych beat South African Kevin Anderson in straight sets

Quarter-finals: Djokovic will face Czech Tomas Berdych in the quarters, after Berdych beat South African Kevin Anderson in straight sets

had Wawrinka challenged a call, he would have been serving for the match

Lucky: had Wawrinka challenged a call, he would have been serving for the match

The final set ended as the clock approached 2am in Australia

The final set ended as the clock approached 2am in Australia

Exhausting: The final set ended as the clock approached 2am in Australia

It took more than five hours for the pair to finish their match in the Australian heat

Thrilling: It took more than five hours for the pair to finish their match in the Australian heat

His game is perfectly suited to absorb
what is thrown at him in this environment and the barrel-chested
Wawrinka hurled everything he could.

By the end it seemed a distant detail
that Djokovic had hardly helped himself by coming out with a defective
pair of shoes that caused him to slip all over the place in the first
set when faced with Wawrinka’s devastating start.

The Swiss took the first set in 25
minutes and served for the second at 5-3, by which time one of the
Serb’s gophers had brought him some new footwear. By then Wawrinka’s
certainty had faded and it could have all been over in the fourth set
but, unusually, his trademark backhand was more than backed up by
everything else in his game.

Only in the 24th game of the fifth set
did he crack and Djokovic clinched it on a third match point to the
delight of a Melbourne crowd who, not for the first time here, had
ignored thoughts of work to come later in the day.

Roger Federer is on in the same late
evening slot today against the powerful Canadian Milos Raonic as he
attempts to reach his 35th consecutive quarter final at a Grand Slam.

He will do so knowing that big danger still lurks in the other side of the draw – as hard to put away as ever.

Nadal plans to make return on South American soil at the VTR Open in Chile

Nadal's comeback is hotting up as he plans a return in Chile

By
Liv Lee

PUBLISHED:

16:44 GMT, 17 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:45 GMT, 17 January 2013

Rafael Nadal will return next month at the VTR Open in Chile.

The competition starts on February 4 and will be the first tournament the world No 4 has competed in since Wimbledon, where he was knocked out in the second round by the relative unknown Lukas Rosol.

Since then Nadal has been recovering from a knee injury.

On the way back: Nadal made it to the final in last year's Australian Open, but has been out injured since last June

On the way back: Nadal made it to the final in last year's Australian Open, but has been out injured since last June

He was supposed to return to action
earlier this month but was sidelined by a stomach virus and forced to
wait another few weeks.

It will be the first time Nadal has
played on South American soil since 2005 and no doubt the 11-time Grand
Slam winner is itching to get back on the court, having posted numerous
updates and photos of his recovery on his Facebook page.

Andy Murray is as fast as Usain Bolt over first 10 metres

Murray is as fast as 100m world record holder Bolt… well, over the first 10 metres

saw Murray's confidence soar with victories in the Olympics and the US Open” class=”blkBorder” />

On a roll: 2012 saw Murray's confidence soar with victories in the Olympics and the US Open

His peak condition will come in useful over the next two weeks at the Australian Open, with high temperatures sure to add strain to what is already an exhausting tournament.

Last year’s final was only seven minutes shy of six hours as Nadal and Djokovic battled it out, and it wasn’t the first time that the Slam has seen a match last longer than five hours.

The tournament kicks off on Monday, with Murray seeded third and seeking his second Grand Slam title. Robin Hasse, ranked 54th in the world, will be the first obstacle in the Scot’s way.

With Rafael Nadal absent due to a virus and Novak Djokovic in the other side of the draw, Roger Federer is the biggest threat to Murray’s chances of making the final. The pair could meet in the semis, but before that Murray may have to overcome sixth seed Juan Martin del Potro.

ATP World Finals 2012: Andy Murray beats Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Murray survives late scare to beat Tsonga and seals place in ATP World Finals last four

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 9 November 2012

Andy Murray wasted no time booking his place in the semi-finals of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.

The Scot knew prior to his final group match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga that one set would be good enough after Novak Djokovic defeated Tomas Berdych earlier in the day.

And he took any potential drama out of the situation by winning the opening set 6-2, which in turn ended Tsonga's hopes of progression.

Get in: Andy Murray celebrates after hitting a winner at the O2 Arena

Get in: Andy Murray celebrates after hitting a winner at the O2 Arena

Murray has a great record against the
Frenchman, winning six of their last seven meetings and five in a row,
including in the Wimbledon semi-finals this summer.

The Scot quickly set about making it
six in a row, using his vicious slice to break in the opening game, and
it was not until four games later that Tsonga finally got on the board.

The seventh seed is very popular in
the UK but the cheer that greeted his service hold was largely because
the crowd desperately wanted to see a good match.

Full stretch: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga could not cope with Murray's power and speed

Full stretch: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga could not cope with Murray's power and speed

Full stretch: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga could not cope with Murray's power and speed

Tsonga was offering no real threat on
the Murray serve, though, and he wrapped up the set in 33 minutes thanks
to a wild return from his opponent.

It is the second time the 25-year-old has reached the last four at the O2 and the third time at the tournament as a whole.

Murray made the semi-finals in his
first appearance at the Tour Finals in 2008 in Shanghai, losing to
Nikolay Davydenko, while two years ago he came out on the wrong end of
an epic clash with Rafael Nadal.

This time he is likely to have to
defeat Roger Federer and Djokovic if he wants to end his season with a
trophy, although his last-four opponent will not be confirmed until the
final Group B matches tomorrow.

Home crowd: Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears was in the crowd supporting the US Open champion

Home crowd: Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears was in the crowd supporting the US Open champion

No 1 fan Actor Kevin Spacey was also in the crowd cheering on the US Open

No 1 fan Actor Kevin Spacey was also in the crowd cheering on the US Open

Peter Schmeichel (left) also watched Murray book his place in the last four at the O2

Peter Schmeichel (left) also watched Murray book his place in the last four at the O2

Both men seemed to want to get the
match over with quickly, and Tsonga donated another break to Murray in
the opening game of the second set with a double fault.

Among the celebrities watching
courtside tonight were actor Kevin Spacey, who was also in the crowd for
Murray's US Open victory over Djokovic, and former footballer Fabrice
Muamba.

The match burst into life in the
eighth game with a brilliant rally that eventually ended with a Murray
lob dropping just long, handing Tsonga his first break points of the
match, and he took the first with a slightly mis-hit return that landed
on the line.

Murray had chances to break again for
6-5 but could not take them, and in the next game it was Tsonga who had
set point but he fired wide.

And there were no second chances in
the tie-break, Murray winning four points in a row from 2-2 and
clinching victory on his second match point with an ace.

Congratulations: Tsonga was gracious in defeat

Congratulations: Tsonga was gracious in defeat

Meanwhile Jonny Marray and Freddie Nielsen were unable to make it three wins out of three as they went down 6-3 7-5 to Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.

The Anglo-Danish partnership were already assured of finishing group winners at the O2 Arena after winning their opening two matches, while Sweden's Lindstedt and Tecau of Romania had no chance of making the semi-finals.

Lindstedt and Tecau were, though, looking for a bit of revenge against the pair who beat them in the Wimbledon final, and they managed a consolation victory to finish their season.

Marray and Nielsen will find out who they will play in the semi-finals on Sunday when Group B is completed on Saturday.

Roger Federer beats Janko Tipsarevic at ATP World Tour Finals

Federer begins hunt for hat-trick of O2 crowns by making short work of Tipsarevic

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UPDATED:

16:03 GMT, 6 November 2012

Roger Federer wasted little time in opening the defence of his Barclays ATP World Tour Finals crown with a 6-3 6-1 victory over Janko Tipsarevic at London's O2 Arena.

The Swiss star is looking for a hat-trick of titles in Greenwich and a seventh at the tournament overall having set a new record with his final triumph over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 12 months ago.

Federer opted against defending his Paris Masters crown last week to prepare for London and he certainly looked sharp as he brushed aside the challenge of Tipsarevic.

Roger and out: Federer waves to the crowd after beating Janko Tipsarevic at the ATP World Tour Finals

Roger and out: Federer waves to the crowd after beating Janko Tipsarevic at the ATP World Tour Finals

Smash hit: The great Swiss lost just four games on his way to victory against the Serbian

Smash hit: The great Swiss lost just four games on his way to victory against the Serbian

The Serb did play in the French capital but retired during the third set of his clash with eventual runner-up Jerzy Janowicz because of dizziness and admitted on Monday he was not feeling 100 per cent.

Federer took control from the off, to the delight of his many fans in the arena, breaking the Tipsarevic serve in the second game and cruising through the rest of the first set.

Tipsarevic, a direct entrant here because of Rafael Nadal's withdrawal through injury, had never beaten Federer in five previous meetings so the omens were not good.

Serving up a treat: The defending champion put on a brilliant display for the packed crowd

Serving up a treat: The defending champion put on a brilliant display for the packed crowd

Specs appeal: Tipsarevic hits a forehand to Federer at the O2 Arena on Tuesday afternoon

Specs appeal: Tipsarevic hits a forehand to Federer at the O2 Arena on Tuesday afternoon

He held serve at the start of the
second set but from there the second seed did not lose a game, polishing
off victory in only an hour and eight minutes.

The win also earned Federer another
piece of history as it was his 40th in the competition, moving him ahead
of Ivan Lendl, with whom he had jointly held the record.

Rafael Nadal plays down hopes of December comeback in Abu Dhabi

Injury-hit Nadal plays down hopes of December comeback in Abu Dhabi

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UPDATED:

08:40 GMT, 10 October 2012

Rafael Nadal concedes it is unlikely he will play tennis again in 2012.

Nadal has not picked up a racket since suffering a surprise second-round exit to Czech Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon in June.

Since then, the 26-year-old has missed the Olympic Games and US Open as he battles ongoing knee soreness.

Rafael Nadal has not picked up a racket since June

Injury blow: Rafael Nadal has not picked up a racket since June

There were reports Nadal could return at the Abu Dhabi exhibition
tournament, starting on December 27.

But when asked whether he would make a comeback before the end of the season, Nadal said: 'Impossible, no. But difficult, yes.

'I want to go day-by-day, I go every day to the gym, the swimming pool to continue with my recovery. I am trying not to think that far.

'It has been very, very tough for me because I feel that my knee didn't improve in the right way … but the last couple of weeks the improvement in my knee is something that I can really feel.

'That helps me to keep working hard doing every day what I have do.

'I am working to try to come back to practice on the tennis court in a not very long period of time.'

Rafael Nadal of Spain

Rafael Nadal of Spain

Nadal, an 11-time grand slam winner, has suffered his fair share of niggles over his career but very few long-term injuries and admitted he was unsure of how long this setback may persist.

'That is something I will know when my I feel my knee completely without pain when I start to practice,' he said.

'I didn't have in the past this long period of time outside of the tennis court, outside of the competition.

'I can imagine when I come back I will need time to practice and practice more and more every day, maybe that will take one month and a half.

'The most important thing is to continue with the treatment … when I don't feel nothing, hopefully that will happen soon, I will come back on the tennis court.'

Andy Murray beats Stanislas Wawrinka at Japan Open

Murray made to scrap before seeing off Wawrinka to reach semi-finals in Japan

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UPDATED:

08:27 GMT, 5 October 2012

Andy Murray survived a stiff test against Stanislas Wawrinka to move into the semi-finals of the Japan Open.

The world No 3, competing in a tournament for the first time since winning his maiden grand slam at the US Open last month, was in control early on but had to battle to win 6-2 3-6 6-2 as Wawrinka pushed him all the way.

The Swiss beat Murray at Flushing Meadows in 2010 and despite his record since then reading 0-13 against the big four of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Murray and Rafael Nadal, he still possesses the tools to challenge the game's leading lights.

At full stretch: Andy Murray in action against Stanislas Wawrinka at the Japan Open in Tokyo

At full stretch: Andy Murray in action against Stanislas Wawrinka at the Japan Open in Tokyo

Yet early on it was largely plain sailing for Murray with two breaks giving him the opening set with Wawrinka wasting the opportunities which came his way.

Wawrinka was more ruthless in the second as his big forehand started to clean the lines.

His first chance to edge ahead came with Murray serving at 1-2 and despite saving two break points, Murray was unable to stave off a third as Wawrinka powered in another big forehand.

Swiss miss: Wawrinka took the second set from Murray but was unable to pull off an upset

Swiss miss: Wawrinka took the second set from Murray but was unable to pull off an upset

The Scot almost replied instantly but Wawrinka held on thanks to some big serving and then ran through the rest of the set without alarm to level matters.

The match hinged on the fourth game of the final set with a combination of brilliance and extreme fortune handing Murray a break and a 3-1 lead.

The top seed saw three break points come and go as Wawrinka raised his aggression levels to serve his way out of danger.

A class above: Murray upped his game in the third and final set to clinch the match

A class above: Murray upped his game in the third and final set to clinch the match

But the Swiss was powerless when Murray set up a fourth as a forehand return struck the top of the net before dropping over.

Warwick's frustration was evident as he smashed a racket early in the next game but he could not channel it into a comeback and Murray broke again to wrap up the match in two hours and a minute.

Let it all out: Murray shows his frustration as Wawrinka battles back to take it to a deciding set

Let it all out: Murray shows his frustration as Wawrinka battles back to take it to a deciding set

He next meets big-hitting Canadian Milos Raonic, who earlier beat Janko Tipsarevic in a third-set tie-break.