By Greg Stutchbury
Britain’s Andy Murray ended the hopes of local tennis fans, and one teenager in particular, with a no-nonsense performance to reach his fifth Australian Open semi-final after a 6-3 7-6(5) 6-3 victory over Nick Kyrgios on Tuesday.
The 19-year-old’s quarter-final appearance at the season-opening grand slam had created a media frenzy in Australia despite it competing with the Socceroos’ Asian Cup semi-final against United Arab Emirates scheduled for the same time.
Newspapers devoted substantial space to the match earlier on Tuesday, while the host broadcasters had a countdown clock on the match for 24 hours and interviewed anyone associated with Kyrgios they could.
Murray, however, refused to let the off-court hype distract him as he produced a clinical effort to take the Rod Laver Arena crowd out of the equation, improve his record against Australian opponents to 11-0 and set up a semi-final against seventh seed Tomas Berdych after the Czech stunned Rafa Nadal earlier in the day.