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Murray blunts Opelka’s serve to reach Sydney final

Andy Murray set himself on course for his 47th tour-level title as he outgunned world number 25 Reilly Opelka 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-4 in the Sydney Tennis Classic semi-finals here Friday. Photo: ATP
Andy Murray set himself on course for his 47th tour-level title as he outgunned world number 25 Reilly Opelka 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-4 in the Sydney Tennis Classic semi-finals here Friday. Photo: ATP

Sydney, Jan 14 (MNN) Andy Murray set himself on course for his 47th tour-level title as he outgunned world number 25 Reilly Opelka 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-4 in the Sydney Tennis Classic semi-finals here on Friday.

The former world number 1 used his trademark returning prowess to effectively nullify the American’s big serve and reach his first ATP Tour final since he won the title in Antwerp in 2019 (d. Wawrinka).

Opelka looked to have finally taken control of a tight first set after surging into a 5/1 lead in the tie-break, but the British world number 135 fought back to 6/6 before the American prevailed 8/6.

Murray bounced back early in the second set, breaking for 2-1 with the help of two double faults from the American.

That opening was enough for the Brit to level the match, as he dropped just one point on serve in the set and surprisingly out-aced the American seven to four.

Both players had to dig deep to save break points in the decider.

Opelka recovered from 15/40 in the opening game before some trademark Murray defence ensured that he stayed on serve at 3-3.

The Brit finally broke for 5-4 before holding his nerve on serve to set up a clash with fellow Brit Daniel Evans or Russian Aslan Karatsev in Saturday’s final.

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