Andy Murray and James Ward braced for Queen's Club semis

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport at Queen's
Andy Murray and James Ward
Murray (left) and Ward could contest an all-British final at Queen's on Sunday

Britain will have two men in the Queen's Club semi-finals for the first time in the Open era when Andy Murray and James Ward take to the court at the Aegon Championships on Saturday.

Murray, the second seed and world number four, will take on four-time champion Andy Roddick of the USA in the first semi-final at 1315 BST.

But if that match has a familiar look about it, the fact that it is world number 216, Ward, who is taking on France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second semi comes as a surprise even to the player himself.

"Obviously, it's the best week of my career so far," said Ward. "Hopefully it doesn't stop here. I'm looking forward to playing the next match against Tsonga - I'm delighted how it's gone so far."

It is the first time since the Open era began in 1968 that two British men have made the last four at the prestigious Wimbledon warm-up event, and a first all-British final since 1931 is a real possibility.

Ward was given a wildcard into the main draw as the British number two and has since beaten compatriot Dan Cox, fourth seed Stanislas Wawrinka and, on a dramatic Friday afternoon, both defending champion Sam Querrey and world number 54 Adrian Mannarino.

Bad weather had led to Ward being forced to play twice in one day on Friday and the forecast remains mixed for the weekend, but Ward has just about held his nerve in all circumstances so far, despite the enormity of his efforts being impossible to ignore.

"It does come into your mind; I'm not going to lie," he said. "It's always in your mind. But you have to try to put it to one side and concentrate on the tennis and do what I've been doing."

Ward now faces Tsonga, after the world number 19 put out top seed Rafael Nadal on Friday.

"I will obviously try and do the same I have been doing against Wawrinka and Querrey, ask a few people and see what they've got for me," said Ward. "But a lot of it depends on my game as well, and trying to play to my strengths and hope for the best."

And asked if he might take some advice from Murray, who has a 4-1 record against Tsonga, Ward said: "I will send him a message and see what he's got for me."

Murray is in the unusual, and possibly welcome, position of seeing another Briton take the spotlight on the penultimate day of a tournament, but he is focused on the significant test posed by Roddick.

Despite a 6-3 lead in head-to-head meetings, Murray has lost their last two matches on grass, including a heartbreaking Wimbledon semi-final defeat in their last encounter two years ago.

"He plays very well on grass. It's his best surface, I think," said the Scot. "He obviously serves very well, so it will be important for me to serve well myself and not give him too many opportunities."

Sunday's singles final at Queen's has been brought foward two hours to 1200 BST because rain is forecast for later in the afternoon.