Andy Murray through to semifinals at Australian Open 2016
World No. 2 Andy Murray beat Spaniard David Ferrer in four sets – 6-3, 6-7, 6-2, 6-3 to secure the first men’s semi-final spot at the Australian Open.
Although he has never won the Australian Open, Murray has reached the final on 4 prior occasions, most recently last year. He was beaten by Novak Djokovic on three of those occasions, and Roger Federer once.
At today’s quarter-final, Murray started off in charge. Each player held serve, with Murray then winning the next three games on the trot. Although he managed 11 winners in the first set, he also committed 17 unforced errors; the battle for the first set was harder than the scoreline suggested. Both baseliners fought hard through the four-setter, which lasted 3 hours and 20 minutes.
Ferrer then charged in the second set, going up a break as he led the Scotsman 3-0. The second seed attempted to hold off eighth seeded Ferrer for a short time. He looked set to lose the set earlier, trailing Ferrer 4-5 at match point for the Spaniard; although he held, he was unable to stave off the challenge from his opponent in the tiebreak, however, and won it.
Murray took control right back in the third set, but saw his momentum interrupted by sudden rain, with play suspended as the roof was drawn on Rod Laver Arena. That didn’t appear to hamper his progress at all, though, and he took a convincing lead over Ferrer to eventually finish off the set 6-2.
The final set saw Murray dominate, but Ferrer looked for a few moments to be giving the Scot somewhat of a fight, but was unable to sustain a momentary charge to take the match to a fifth set.
Murray eventually won 6-3, 6-7,6-2, 6-3, and will meet the winner of the match between 13th seed Milos Raonic and 23rd seed Gael Monfils. Although Raonic has been in better form recently, it is Monfils who leads the pair’s head-to-head record, winning both times the pair have played each other in the past.
Raonic for his part recently took Swiss ace Stan Wawrinka to five sets before defeating him for a semi-final spot, and will take heart from having beaten Roger Federer in straight sets at the Brisbane International earlier this month.
Although Murray has been in better form, it will be an evenly-matched contest if he meets Raonic in the semi-finals; they have played 8 times in the past, with each winning three matches (the other two were walkovers).
Murray’s brother Jamie is also in the semifinals of the Australian Open – with Brazilian Bruno Soares he will take on Adrian Mannarino and Lucas Pouille for a doubles finals berth.
The Scotsman injected a spot of humour into his post-match conference; asked how he handled the rain that suddenly hit court, he answered “I grew up in Scotland.”
Murray is now one of two Britons in the Australian Open semi-finals – the other is women’s number one Johanna Konta, who beat Chinese challenger Shuai Zhang in straight sets and now has a tough battle ahead of her – she will play 7th seed Angelique Kerber.
All eyes are now on the biggest match of the tournament – the men’s semifinals tomorrow, with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer going head to head.