“It was very tough,” Murray said after his win, “Every point against him is different.”

Andy Murray moved into the semi-finals of the Australian Open by beating Alexandr Dolgopolov in four sets – and he won’t have to play Rafael Nadal in the last four. The British number one looked a touch vulnerable when he dropped his first set of the tournament but found another gear when it mattered to come through 7-5 6-3 6-7 (3/7) 6-3 in three hours and six minutes. He had been expected to meet Nadal in the semi-finals, but the world number one was clearly injured as he slumped to a straight-sets defeat to fellow Spaniard David Ferrer. However, Murray is still likely to have to up his level considerably if he is to prevail against Ferrer after a display against Dolgopolov which was inconsistent at best.

“It was very tough,” Murray said afterwards. “Every point against him is different, he hits the ball differently to everyone else, it’s tough to explain. “I struggled with my rhythm early on and he came back in the third set but I thought I did well enough.”

Dolgopolov, the world number 46 who beat seeds Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Robin Soderling in his previous two matches, had numerous opportunities to take a grip on the match but too often let Murray off the hook with moments of carelessness, a trait he will have to eradicate is he is to make the most of his undoubted potential.


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