Andy Murray reaches Olympic final after brilliant rally

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Just when you think Andy Murray's year can't get any better he etches his name into another piece of history by becoming the first man to reach back-to-back Olympic finals.

As if making the French Open final for the first time, winning Wimbledon again, becoming a father and being Great Britain's flag bearer during the opening ceremony of Rio 2016 wasn't enough, Murray efforts in the Olympics have been equally special.

The London 2012 gold medalist beat Kei Nishikori in straight sets in the semi-final to set up a meeting with either Rafael Nadal or Juan Martin del Potro on Sunday.

Although a 6-1, 6-4 scoreline might look straightforward enough on paper, it was far from comfortable for Murray, who had to be at his best to overcome the fourth seed.

One particular rally was so epic, it deservedly earned a standing ovation from the onlooking crowd in Brazil.

With Murray 5-4 ahead and deuce on his serve, the key point consisted of 23 shots but ebbed and flowed magnificently as both players had the chance to win it.

Murray started on the front foot with a succession of backhands but to his credit, Nishikori fought back and looked almost certain to prevail after forcing his opponent to retreat.

And even the Japanese star would be forgiven for thinking his volley on shot 22 had beaten Murray.

But as you can see, the Brit incredibly thrusted his racket towards the ball and guided the stroke past the helpless Nishikori.

That winner set up a third match point and Murray didn't need an another invitation to confirm his place in the final.

It has been a tough week for the 29-year-old, however, it will all have been worth it if it ends with another gold medal being hung around his neck.

The US Open and Davis Cup semi-finals aren't too far away and Murray is experienced enough by now to know not to rest on his laurels. Victory in both of those tournaments, though, really will crown a fantastic 12 months for Britain's No. 1.

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