Britain’s Andy Murray is through to the Australian Open semi finals after beating home prospect Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, Setting up a clash against Tomas Berdych who beat Rafael Nadal.
In his 16th consecutive Grand Slam quarter, the win consolidates Murray’s fifth Australian Open semi final and his 15th Grand Slam semi final.
Upstaging and outplaying the vibrant young Australian, Murray was too experienced and powerful for the 19-year-old, baiting him into 36 unforced errors, ending Australia’s last hope in the tournament.
Cool and Controlled
The victory takes Murray’s record to 11-0 against Australian opponents on their own turf, beating two - Kyrgios and Matosevic - at this year's tournament.
In imperious form, nullifying Kyrgios’s service game with some fantastic returns, Murray took the initiative to hold his own service game comfortably throughout.
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Ruthlessly exposing the limitations of a young player – as he has so often done – Murray controlled proceedings moving Kyrgios around the court and used the Australian's lumbering forward movement to cancel out any possibility of hitting big returns from deep.
The number six seed looked to remove any pace off the ball and force Kyrgios into chasing the ball, who hit a number of forehand errors that proved costly. After opening exchanges Murray took the lead in longer rallies and held serve in three of only four service breaks.
The world number 6 looked to keep the ball out of areas that Kyrgios could potentially hit big winners from by keeping the ball low, which the Scot did time and again to perfection.
Kyrgios had to fight off a break point in the opening game of the second set and managed to take the set to a tiebreaker which fluctuated between the two. Appearing to have the upper hand at 3-2, the Australian was pushed into costly errors by the Scot to win the second set.
“He’s a huge hitter of the ball,” said Murray after the match, as per BBC Sport.
“So I tried to keep the ball out of his hitting zone as much as possible.”
Kyrgios played up to his showman-like persona and brought reproach from the umpire after a foul-mouthed tirade following a battle to save two set points. He could have cost himself a set as he smashed a racquet - as a point penalty for the second code violation would have won Murray the set.
He seemed to further anger Murray when he stood at the net with his racket held aloft like a shield. Post match he told reporters: “I was hurting out there, so physicality is a big one. My mentality, I though I had a couple of dips out there. I need to stay consistent.”
Murray commendably looked to take some pressure of the young player with what seemed to be a thinly veiled critique towards the pressures place on hi.
“I think the first thing is try not to put too much pressure on him," the Scot said.
“I also think that he needs to be allowed to mature and develop. He’s going to make some mistakes obviously – he’s young and growing up in the spotlight isn’t easy,” added Murray who seemed to be speaking from experience.
"I also think that he needs to be allowed to mature and develop. He’s going to make some mistakes obviously – he’s young and growing up in the spotlight isn’t easy"
With the 6ft 4 19-year-old dropping out of the tournament leaves Australia without a home Grand Slam champion since Mark Edmondson in 1976.