25
Jan
12

The time has arrived to test the Murray/Lendl combo against Djokovic in the Aussie semifinal.

Andy Murray is seeking Britain's first grand slam title since before World War II

Novak Djokovic booked a semi-final against Andy Murray at the Australian Open with a straight-sets win over David Ferrer. Djokovic saw off the challenge of fifth seed Ferrer 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 in Tuesday night’s quarter-final on the Rod Laver Arena. The world number one’s reward is a clash with British hope Murray in the last four, a repeat of the 2011 final which the Serb won in straight sets to set the tone for a year of dominance. Djokovic secured the opening break in the fifth game before going on to serve out the first set in 58 minutes. But Ferrer showed his resilience in the second set, twice retrieving in a break, including when an increasingly frustrated Djokovic served for it at 6-5. A tie-break was required and the Spaniard battled into a 4-2 lead before blowing his chance. Djokovic reeled off five points in a row to turn the tie-break around and claim a two-set lead. Ferrer dropped his opening service game of the third set and, from there, Djokovic was able to close out the result without alarm.

Murray played some sublime tennis at times as he wrapped up a 6-3 6-3 6-1 victory to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open for the third successive year. Nishikori, who came through a five-set epic against sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the previous round, desperately tried varying his game but he could find no answer to Murray’s play. However if there was one thing that did let Murray down at times it was his service game – with the 24-year-old broken twice. Murray broke back immediately on each occasion, though, to limit the damage. Nishikori, the first player from Japan to reach the last eight at Melbourne Park in 80 years, had spurned five break-point opportunities in the opening set. The Scot, though, was even more wasteful as he missed eight opportunities – however the one he did take was enough for him to seal the set. Murray broke at the start of the second set – only for Nishikori to hit back immediately, although he almost let the world No.4 off the hook as two chances passed him by before he finally levelled. Nishikori’s joy was shortlived, though, as Murray broke twice more to move into a two-set lead. The 22-year-old looked out on his feet at the start of the third set as Murray moved 2-0 up – although a couple of double faults allowed Nishikori to break back. Yet again Nishikori, though, failed to take advantage as Murray moved 3-1 up before accelerating away to wrap up the set and the match.

 

 

 

 

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