Murray eases into last four and he’ll avoid injured Nadal

ANDY MURRAY overcame the disappointment of dropping the first set of his Australian Open campaign to make it through to the semi-finals following a four set win over Alexandr Dolgopolov.

The British No1 came through a testing encounter against the unorthodox Ukrainian 7-5, 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, and will face David Ferrer in the last four after the seventh seed took advantage of Rafael Nadal’s injury to cause a major upset.

Dolgopolov had looked likely to be on the end of a straight sets mauling, but staged an unlikely recovery in the third before Murray regained his composure to see out a one-sided fourth.

“It was very tough,” said Murray. “Every point against him is different, he hits the ball differently to everyone else, it’s tough to explain.

“I struggled with my rhythm early on and he came back in the third set but I thought I did well enough. I had to go for my shots a little bit more in the fourth set, I was a little bit tense in the tie-breaker and served a double-fault and missed a couple of easy forehands.

“I got off to a good start in the fourth set and that settled me down, but it was a very tough match and a very tough one to get my rhythm in.”

Murray’s hopes of making it to a second successive final in Melbourne were enhanced when seventh seed Ferrer beat his Spanish compatriot Nadal in straight sets 6-4, 6-2, 6-3.

Nadal, who had his left thigh strapped in the first set, was hampered throughout and was unable to cope with Ferrer’s heavy groundstrokes.

“I don’t have to tell you what I felt on the court, but it is obvious I did not feel at my best,” said Nadal.

“I had a problem at the beginning and after that, the match was almost over. I couldn’t do more than what I did, he played at a very high level.”

Ferrer, who had lost 12 of his previous 15 meetings against Nadal added: “This is one big victory for me, but it’s not like a victory really. He was playing with injury and I had some luck.”