Murray cruises past Kyrgios


Published: Tuesday 27th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Two-time grand slam winner Andy Murray produced a highly professional performance to nullify the threat of home favourite Nick Kyrgios and book his place in the Australian Open semi-finals on Tuesday.

Murray silenced a 15,000-strong crowd on Rod Laver Arena as he used all his experience to beat talented teenager Kyrgios 6-3 7-6 (7/5) 6-3 and set up a clash with Czech Tomas Berdych, who had earlier dispatched Rafael Nadal in similar fashion.

The victory improved Murray’s record against Australian players to 11-0 and saw him produce 13 aces and just one double fault, with the only minor blip coming when he let a break of serve slip in the third set.

“It was a tricky match,” Murray said in an on-court interview. “It was pretty windy so tough conditions for both of us and I tried to start as quickly as possible because I knew how dangerous Nick is. I know exactly what he is capable of and I was not going to underestimate him at all.

“He is a big hitter so I tried to keep it out of his strike zone as much as possible. I played a slightly different style tonight and it worked.”

Both players held serve comfortably in the opening exchanges, Murray doing so in the opening game from 0-30 down with the help of two aces, but the Scot soon had the edge in longer rallies.

The sixth seed took all the pace off the ball and forced Kyrgios to try to make the running, the world number 53 hitting back-to-back forehand errors to lose his serve in the sixth game.

Kyrgios looked understandably on edge on such a big stage in his home grand slam and received a warning from the umpire for an audible obscenity as he battled to save two set points.

And although he did so to force Murray to serve for the set, the 27-year-old did so with ease to take it after 32 minutes.

Kyrgios won the junior title in Melbourne as recently as 2013 and was playing in just his second grand slam quarter-final, although he did beat Rafael Nadal to reach that stage of Wimbledon last year.

He had to save a break point early in the second set but was having no joy on Murray’s serve, the Scot dropping just three points on his serve in the set before almost faltering when it mattered most in the tie-break.

A brilliant forehand lob helped Murray into a 5-4 lead with two serves to come, only for him to serve his first double fault of the contest after Kyrgios successfully challenged a line call.

However, a service winner earned his first set point – and had Kyrgios smashing his racket into the ground in disgust – before another superb lob, this time on the backhand, secured the set for a commanding lead.

Murray served his way out of a potentially difficult spot at 0-30 in the fifth game of the third set and immediately capitalised, taking his third break point in the next game with another superb lob that Kyrgios could not rescue, even with a shot played between his legs.

However, Kyrgios then forced his first break point of the entire match and although Murray saved that, an excellent return from Kyrgios gave him another which he won as Murray hit a tame backhand into the net.

Murray then appeared to cut a bandage off his left thigh at the change of ends and it looked to do the trick, the Olympic champion breaking serve again to take a 5-3 lead.

This time there was to be no lapse in concentration and Murray served out to take the match in two hours and five minutes.

Published: Tuesday 27th January 2015 by The News Editor

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