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Murray through to first final since 2019 in Sydney, will face Karatsev

The comeback continues with another three-set win against a powerful opponent

Andy Murray Andy Murray of Great Britain looks on during the Sydney Classic Tennis match between Viktor Durasovic of Norway and Andy Murray of Great Britain at Ken Rosewall Arena on January 11, 2022 in Sydney, Australia (Panoramic)

Sydney Tennis Classic | Draws Schedule

Andy Murray told you – he’s not done yet. And he proved as much at the Sydney Tennis Classic, putting in a battling performance against the big-serving American Reilly Opelka to win their semi-final 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-4.

That takes the former world No 1 through to his first final since 2019, when he lifted the title at the European Open in Antwerp.

“It’s obviously great to be in another final,” he said in his press conference. “A tough match again. It was always going to be tight against him. There is not many chances either way usually. After losing the first set, [it] felt like quite a long way back but stayed tight on my serve, served well last couple of sets and I think overall played a pretty smart match. Didn’t really give him loads of opportunities. And, yeah, [it] was a good win.”

Murray – I didn’t worry so much before

He will now face the top seed Aslan Karatsev – who beat Dan Evans, his compatriot – for the trophy, ahead of his Australian Open first-round match against Nikoloz Basilashvili next week.

“I think all of the tournaments that I’m competing in just now are important, because ultimately…it’s not a goal of mine to get to a specific ranking, like in the next year, but improving your ranking and getting yourself up into the top 50, top 30, top 20 allows you to be seeded in tournaments, and potentially makes it easier to have better draws or to have a better run in a major event rather than, for example, like playing Tsitsipas in the first round, like I did at the US Open,” Murray said afterwards.

“Playing seeds in the first rounds of slams, obviously you can avoid them with the ranking being high enough. There is many positive things to having good runs in these tournaments. I didn’t have to worry so much about that before, but there is a lot of positives to doing well in the smaller events.”

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