MELBOURNE: Andy Murray’s used his greater experience to master exciting Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios and reach the Australian Open semi-finals on Tuesday, with the Scot content with where his game is at.
The British sixth seed, a three-time runner-up, downed the unseeded 19-year-old 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 in 2hr 5min and will face seventh seed Czech Tomas Berdych for a place in Sunday’s final.
The Scot was far too composed and steady for the mercurial Kyrgios and took his record over Australian players to 11-0 before a partisan home crowd.
Murray grabbed three service breaks and only conceded a service break deep in the final set to underline his dominance over the 53rd-ranked Kyrgios.
He hit 48 winners and just 28 unforced errors, while serving 13 aces and winning 80 percent of his first serves.
Kyrgios played at his usual high tempo and made 38 errors, 22 of them off his forehand, while winning 65 percent first serves.
“It was a tricky match in windy conditions and I tried to start as quickly as possible because I know how dangerous Nick is,” Murray said.
“Against Nick he is a huge hitter of the ball so I tried to keep it out of his strike zone as much as possible, but in the wind if you can use the slice and keep the ball low it is difficult to control.
“I played a slightly different style tonight and thankfully it worked.”
Murray reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open for the fifth time where he will take on Berdych, who holds a 6-4 winning record over the Scot.
“It’s nice to be in the latter stages of a slam again,” Murray said.
“I’m happy with that. All you can do is prepare as best you can, which I certainly did over the last few weeks and months, and have given myself an opportunity.”
Murray, who also dealt with the enormous pressure of home expectation when he was a younger player, spoke highly of Kyrgios.
“I’ve spent a little bit of time with him and I think he’s a good person,” Murray said.
“I don’t think he’s a bad guy. He’s nice. He’s always been polite and respectful.
“Maybe he does the odd thing on the court that might annoy some people, but I don’t think he does anything with bad intent.
“He’s only going to continue to mature and improve in that respect as he gets older. He just needs to be allowed to grow up. Everyone makes mistakes when they’re that age.”
Kyrgios, who received a code violation warning from the chair umpire for an audible obscenity in the eighth game of the opening set, relished the chance to play on the big stage at the Australian Open.
“It was a really good experience. That was my first Aussie Open Grand Slam match playing on Rod Laver, so that was really cool,” Kyrgios said.
“But he was way too good for me tonight. There are some things I can take from that match and get better at.” (AFP)