Australian Open

Murray beats local hope Kyrgios

2015-01-27 12:54
Andy Murray celebrates his victory. (Jose Jordan, AFP)

Melbourne - Three-time runner-up Andy Murray edged closer to a fourth Australian Open decider on Tuesday, but has surprise semi-finalist Tomas Berdych blocking his way.

The British sixth seed proved too experienced and disciplined for mercurial Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios, winning their night quarter-final in straight sets.

Czech seventh seed Berdych provided the day's stunning result by ending a demoralising run of outs to dump a struggling Rafael Nadal in straight sets in the earlier last eight clash.

Berdych finally mastered the Spanish 14-time Grand Slam champion 6-2, 6-0, 7-6 (7/5) in 2hr 13min.

Murray broke Australian hearts when he eliminated unseeded 19-year-old Kyrgios 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 to take his record over Australian players to 11-0 before a partisan home crowd on Rod Laver Arena.

The Scot grabbed three service breaks and only conceded a service break deep in the final set to underline his dominance over the 53rd-ranked Kyrgios.

"It was a tricky match in windy conditions and I tried to start as quickly as possible because I know how dangerous Nick is," Murray said.

"Against Nick he is a huge hitter of the ball so I tried to keep it out of his strike zone as much as possible, but in the wind if you can use the slice and keep the ball low it is difficult to control."

The talented Kyrgios said he would learn from the experience.

"There are some things I can take from that match and get better at," he said. "He was just way too good for me."

Berdych's upset ended a record-equalling 17-match winning run Nadal had over the Czech, who claimed his second consecutive semi-final appearance in Melbourne after losing to Stan Wawrinka last year. 

Only Bjorn Borg over Vitas Gerulaitis and Ivan Lendl against Tim Mayotte had chalked up 17-match head-to-head winning streaks on the ATP Tour.

"I was definitely ready for it and set up my plan pretty well and I stuck with that through those three sets," Berdych said.

"I was expecting a very tough battle but I was ready for everything and I think that was the biggest thing from the past matches with Rafa.

"I started pretty well, but you are playing Rafa and you have to keep going until the last point."

Nadal's miserable performance was just statistically better than his worst Grand Slam result. He won only eight games, two more than the six games he took off Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-final at the 2009 US Open.

The world number three also failed to win a game in the second set for his first 'bagel' at a Grand Slam since playing Roger Federer in the 2006 Wimbledon final and Andy Roddick in the second round at the 2004 US Open.

It was a big start to the new season for Berdych and his new coach Dani Vallverdu, who formerly was part of the Murray team.

"We set up the right tactics. Then I was able to execute that on the court. That's what I'm really happy about," said Berdych, who hit 46 winners and won 82 percent of his first serves.

Collated results from day nine of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park on Tuesday:

Men's singles


Tomas Berdych (CZE x7) bt Rafael Nadal (ESP x3) 6-2, 6-0, 7-6 (7/5)
Andy Murray (GBR x6) bt Nick Kyrgios (AUS) 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3

Women's singles


Ekaterina Makarova (RUS x10) bt Simona Halep (ROU x3) 6-4, 6-0
Maria Sharapova (RUS x2) bt Eugenie Bouchard (CAN x7) 6-3, 6-2

Read more on:    atp tour  |  australian open  |  andy murray  |  tennis


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