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Play underway at Rome Masters after rain delays start


Andy Murray

Andy Murray

Britain’s Andy Murray was left patiently sitting it out on Saturday as rain delayed his Rome Masters semi-final with Lucas Pouille, with the weather causing a three-and-a-half hour wait.

Murray, the second seed, started his match against French lucky loser Pouille at 1530 local time (1330 GMT), as he bids to reach the final for the first time.

“The rain has stopped! Centrale is being uncovered! Preparing the court for the matches!” the tournament organisers exclaimed on Twitter after the rain eventually subsided.

Murray could meet top seed Novak Djokovic for the second time in a week if the Serbian beats Kei Nishikori in their last-four match-up.

Intermittent rain throughout the morning in the Italian capital upset the entire schedule, forcing organisers to move Murray’s clash with Pouille to the same time as the first women’s semi-final.

Spain’s Garbine Muguruza was due to meet American Madison Keys on Centre Court at midday local time (1000 GMT), and Keys finally hit the first serve on the Pietrangeli second court at 1530 local time.

Murray lost to Djokovic last week in the final of the Madrid Masters, and the Serbian underlined his form less than two weeks from the start of the French Open at Roland Garros with a hard-fought two-set win over Spanish rival Rafael Nadal late on Friday.

In the other women’s semi-final, world number one Serena Williams faces Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania.

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