Sydney - Gilles
Muller ended Viktor Troicki's 13-match unbeaten run at the Sydney
International with a fighting 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) victory to reach the final
Muller, after two years coming up short in the semi-finals, went one
better to advance to the Sydney final where he will face either
Britain's Daniel Evans or Russian Andrey Kuznetsov.
The win ended third seed Serb Troicki's unbeaten two-title run in Sydney.
"I think I served very well today," Muller said.
"When I was 5-2 up
and then on match point I just wanted it to be over. Viktor is a great
"I felt like he was the better player in the second set, but I hung in."
Luxembourg's Muller at 34 is the highest-ranked player in the top 50
without a tournament title after losing in five finals, including two
last season, both on grass in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Newport.
Muller was the superior player in the opening set, taking advantage of Troicki's listless play to race ahead 3-0.
One break of serve in the second game was all he needed and he
maintained his advantage for the rest of the set to take it in just over
half an hour.
Troicki stormed back in the second set and produced one of the shots of the tournament in the fifth game.
He also held a pair of break points in the sixth game, but could not convert.
Troicki had another chance when leading 6-5, 30-30 all on Muller's
serve but an ace down the middle and a wild Troicki error sent the set
into a tiebreak.
A tired double-fault from Troicki put the sixth seed 3-1 up, but
backhand winners from Troicki on the fifth and 10th points helped the
Serb level the breaker at 5-5.
One match point was saved, but on his second, Muller slammed an ace to clinch victory.
Evans and Kuznetsov were scheduled to play the other semi-final later on Friday.