MURRAY LOBS HIS WAY THROUGH…RAFA RUNS OUT OF POWER…
The Brit prevailed 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 despite brave resistance from the 19-year-old Australian in the last two sets.
Murray produced two incredible lobs in the second-set tie-break and then again to help break Kyrgios in the third.
Afterwards he was full of praise and sound advice for his opponent. Murray said: ‘Try not to put too much pressure on Nick, he needs to be allowed to mature and develop and he’s doing a great job. He is incredibly talented but I think he could be a bit more intense at times.’
Murray now plays Tomas Berdych and admitted: ‘That’s going to be a tough match, I don’t think he has dropped a set so far.’
Rafa Nadal crashed out of the Australian Open to an immaculate Tomas Berdych, as the Spaniard’s lack of match time finally caught up with him.
Berdych won 6-2, 6-0, 7-6 in two hours and thirteen minutes. During the middle set Rafa managed to win only ten points in the 25 minutes it took for the Czech seventh seed to seize total control.
Everyone expected Rafa to notch his 18th successive win over Berdych but it wasn’t to be. The favorite was forced to view his Australian experience as nothing more than a steeping stone towards full fitness.
Nadal reminded everyone: ‘As I said when I got here, it is always tough to come back from injuries. I am feeling OK, but it was not my day. Without being at my top level of tennis, to reach the quarter-finals here is not bad for me.’
One of the world’s most popular players will now have to recover and build new momentum towards his favourite Slam, the French Open on the forgiving clay of Roland Garros.
BERDYCH PLAN COMES TOGETHER
Berdych looked surprised by his remarkable achievement. He said: ‘I was expecting a tough battle but I was ready for everything and that was the difference. I set up my plan pretty well and stuck with it through three sets.’
He fired 46 winners to Rafa’s 24 and served ten aces with no double faults. Now Berdych will present a threat to Murray in the semi-finals.
SHARAPOVA ON FIRE
Maria Sharapova beat Eugenie Bouchard for the fourth time in succession with a straightforward 6-3, 6-2 victory to set up an all-Russian semi-final. She will face Ekaterina Makarova, who defeated Simona Halep 6-4, 6-0. But in this sort of form Sharapova (below) may be hard to stop.