Rule Britannia in Melbourne as Murray, Konta through

Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:48am EST
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By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - British hearts swelled with pride at Melbourne Park on Wednesday as Andy Murray battled into the Australian Open semi-finals after compatriot Johanna Konta swept into the last four of the women's tournament.

Murray won a typically attritional slog against Spaniard David Ferrer 6-3 6-7(5) 6-2 6-3, while Konta eased past Chinese qualifier Zhang Shuai 6-4 6-1 to become the first British woman in more than 30 years to reach a grand slam semi-final.

The pair gave Britain two players in a grand slam semi-finals for the first time since 1977 but they will need to muster more bulldog spirit to reach the final.

Second seed Murray, who booked his sixth semi-final in Melbourne, will face Milos Raonic with the Canadian 13th seed in the form of his life.

Raonic's 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4 win over Frenchman Gael Monfils made him Canada's first male semi-finalist at Melbourne Park.

Konta will face seventh seed Angelique Kerber, who stunned twice former champion Victoria Azarenka 6-3 7-5 in the opening match at Rod Laver Arena.

The fall-out from match-fixing allegations that rocked the tournament's opening day continued to rumble.

Officials launched an independent review into the Tennis Integrity Unit after accusations the watchdog had failed to adequately investigate suspicious matches in the past.   Continued...

Britain's Andy Murray celebrates after winning his quarter-final match against Spain's David Ferrer at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 27, 2016. REUTERS/Issei Kato