Andy Murray reaches first ATP Tour final since 2019 with impressive win over Reilly Opelka

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Andy Murray
    Andy Murray
    British professional tennis player from Scotland
  • Reilly Opelka
    Reilly Opelka
    American tennis player
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Andy Murray booked his place in an ATP Tour final for the first time since October 2019 with a spirited performance which bodes well for the Australian Open.

He dropped the first set against the big-serving Reilly Opelka on a tiebreak but took control of the next two, a break in each set sufficient to deservedly reach the final of the Sydney Classic following a 6-7 6-4 6-4 victory.

After another tight win, he said: “I love competing. You want to try to finish the matches if you can but I lost a tight first set and it’s not easy to come back against someone who serves like that. I kept fighting… and managed to get the win.”

Should he win Saturday’s final, it would be his 47th career title and his first since Antwerp back in October 2019.

“It would be amazing to start the year with a win,” Murray said. “It’s been a great week for me, great progress against anything I’ve done in the past year. I’ll go for 47 tomorrow. It’s been a good week. I’ve played better with each match.”

Murray has always said he still had title wins within him despite the various setbacks since hip surgery, and he gets the chance to test out that theory on Saturday just 48 hours from the start of the Australian Open.

There were no breaks in the opening set and Murray was clearly frustrated as he failed to win that tiebreak, which his American opponent edged 8-6.

The Scot got the first break of the match in the second set and had a chance to go 5-2 up against his 6ft 11in opponent. He could not convert but did enough to level the match at a set apiece as his serve once again kicked into gear.

He came close to breaking Opelka’s opening service game of set three with two break points but had to wait until the ninth game to get that break, moments later serving for the match in an impressive performance which included just 10 unforced errors.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Harriet Dart, meanwhile, became the six British player into the main draw after winning her third and final qualifying match 6-3 6-3 against Australian Kimberly Birrell.

After qualifying into a Grand Slam main draw for the fifth time in her career, she said: “I’m super happy and pleased to be through. Playing three matches in qualifying is never easy. I need to put myself in a position where I’m directly entered in the draw.

“It’s never an easy match when you’re playing for a spot in the main draw. I’ve got the experience of coming through qualifying here twice before, so that helped too.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting