Andy Murray reached his first ATP Tour final since 2019 at the Sydney Classic

Andy Murray had to be patient but he’s back in the ATP Tour final for the first time since October 2019 after defeating Riley Opelka in Sydney – and a fellow Briton could be standing in his way.

Murray was enjoying a degree of recovery after seeing a premature end to the quarter-finals as David Goffin needed to retire injured, having lost the first set 6-2.

And in what was his first ATP Tour semi-final in 822 days, Murray showed all class in his return game against one of the Tour’s biggest servers at 6ft11′ Opelka to win it 6-7, 6-4, 6. 4.

He withstood plenty of rowdy Scots inside the Ken Rosewall Arena as the former world No. 1 player, who has reached the World Cup finals for only the second time since 2017, showed he remains a force on the ATP Tour despite his physical ailments This was another amazing show. him in the Australian Open.

A win in the final would see Murray return to the top 100 as well.

Andy Murray has reached his first ATP Tour final since October 2019 after his latest win

It was a painful hour as Murray emotionally hit her at the Sydney Classic

It was a painful hour as Murray emotionally hit her at the Sydney Classic

He's faced big-serving 6-foot-11 Riley Opelka, but Murray has shown the return of his seasons

He’s faced big-serving 6-foot-11 Riley Opelka, but Murray has shown the return of his seasons

Murray seemed to be exploring a fast Opelka shot in the opening set that looked set to level out by breaking the tie the moment it started.

The Scotsman did a good job of keeping the ball in play, but soon lost his stranglehold in the tiebreak when he fell to an early 3-0 deficit.

The late rally raised some doubt in Opelka’s mind, but the American, who is targeting a return to the top 20 in the world this month, held up well to seal the opener 7-6.

“I love the competition,” Murray said.

You want to finish matches quickly. Obviously I lost a tight first set and it’s not easy to come back against someone who plays this style of play but I kept fighting.

Using a blocking technique, Murray was able to neutralize the big serve quite often

Using a blocking technique, Murray was able to neutralize the big serve quite often

Opelka drilled and got the opening set as Murray punished the decider in the tiebreak

Opelka drilled and got the opening set as Murray punished the decider in the tiebreak

Andy Murray’s Road to the Final

L32: Dr. Viktor Durasovich (6-3, 6-1)

L16: Dr. Nikoloz Basilashvili (6-7, 7-6, 6-3)

QF: Dr. David Goffin (6-2, retired)

sixth: Dr. Riley Opelka (6-7, 6-4, 6-4)

Murray was candid throughout this time while Opelka, who could be quite frank, was muted on the other side of the net.

An early break in the second set – and later proved crucial – felt crucial for Murray and he quickly increased the pace of his servant games to smash points, not allowing Opelka to settle down and find his rhythm.

In one set, the penalty shootout was straight for first place in Saturday’s final and proved to be as close to hits and folds as the opening goal.

Momentum seemed to teeter on Murray at 3-3 with Opelka’s serve.

Murray thought he spotted Opelka’s serve at this point and with two break points at 15-40 he felt an opportunity to dominate.

227 km/h was quickly sent in its direction by Opelka, who continued to hold out after some involuntary errors from Murray.

“Why did you change direction?” Murray shouted loudly. Haste, haste. Absolute madness.

Murray stuck a bit more straight and was at 4-4 where he finally broke Opelka’s resistance.

Opelka's improv saw him try to tune in but soon lost his early group advantage

Opelka’s improv saw him try to tune in but soon lost his early group advantage

Down 15-30, Opelka panicked and seemed to be getting close to the distance as he rushed toward the net.

Murray successfully executed a forehand pass pass for Opelka to score two break points, which he converted at the next point.

A massive roar put the ball on his racket to secure a place in the final, and Murray, after 2 hours 24 minutes, managed to celebrate his last scalps as he moved a step closer to his 47th career title.

When asked about the handling of Opelka’s dispatch, Murray admitted he was improvising the whole time.

“You can’t prepare for it frankly,” he said. “I chose to block quite a few things that worked really well, and the second serve isn’t easy.

Murray refused to wilt and converted the break in the second and third sets to reach the final on Saturday

Murray refused to wilt and converted the break in the second and third sets to reach the final on Saturday

“It’s tough but coming back has always been one of the strongest parts of my level and I’ve used it well today.”

On the possibility of winning the 47th title, he added: “It would be amazing to start the year with a win, and a really big progress to tie the matches together.

I’m going to 47 tomorrow and it’s been a good week. I played better in every game.

He faces the prospect of meeting Britain’s No. 1 Dan Evans, who is in the semi-final against Aslan Karatsev, later in the session.

There’s never been an all-British final on the ATP Tour level, so it would be history if Evans progresses.

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