MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Testing wind conditions could not blunt Andy Murray’s clinical win over local hope Nick Kyrgios at the Australian Open on Tuesday as the Briton set up a semi-final with Tomas Berdych with a 6-3 7-6 (5) 6-3 victory.
The sixth seed put the hype surrounding Kyrgios’s second grand slam quarter-final to the back of his mind and used the winds to his benefit to dispatch the 19-year-old in just over two hours.
”It was tricky because it was a very strong breeze,“ Murray told reporters. ”When you were down the far end of the court you had to do a lot more defending.
“If you tried to play with any sort of height the ball was dropping short and it was very easy to attack so I tried to just keep the ball low from that end, use a lot of slice and played pretty flat -- I think I did that quite well.”
While Murray’s efforts took the Rod Laver Arena crowd out of the equation and improved his record against Australian opponents to 11-0, he was unsure if it was a step up from his fourth-round win over 10th seed Grigor Dimitrov.
Murray and the Bulgarian played four sets of absorbing tennis, widely considered the best contest of the tournament.
“I would say the match against Dimitrov was a very high level. It was a clean match, both of us were striking the ball well,” he said.
“But then tonight...I just tried to play the best with what the conditions were allowing you to do.”
Kyrgios was the first teenager since Roger Federer in 2001 to make the last eight at two grand slams and has been touted as the player most likely to lead a renaissance of Australian men’s tennis.
As talented as Kyrgios may be, Murray demonstrated how much he still has to learn if he wants to join the elite, making the Australian fight for every point while the Scot’s composure at important moments was critical.
”It’s incredible how many balls he gets back into play,“ Kyrgios said of the former U.S. Open and Wimbledon champion. ”There were points I’d be winning five times over, he’d be making me play an extra ball.
“Those guys are unbelievable athletes. They’re another level. I think that’s what stands out most.”
Editing by John O'Brien