Published: Sun, October 20, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Murray: A big surprise to reach first final since 2017

Murray: A big surprise to reach first final since 2017

Nine months and one hip surgery after those emotional farewells in Australia Andy Murray is back in a final on the ATP Tour.

Italian teenager Jannik Sinner became the youngest ATP semi-finalist in five years on Friday when he defeated Frances Tiafoe of the United States 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to make the last four of the European Open in Antwerp. It was tough. He was playing huge from the back of the court... it was tricky but I am obviously happy to be back in a final.

But he met his match in 18th-ranked Wawrinka, with the 34-year-old taking one hour and 59 minutes to edge closer to a first title since winning the Geneva Open in May 2017.

Copil showed great mental strength in the second set tie-break as he saved a set point, before converting his own second set point to force a decider against the three-time Grand Slam champion.

He appeared to have some trouble with his right elbow, which may have affected his serve, but he finished the match with six aces and won 77% of points on his first serve.

But the metal hip passed another stern examination, Copil throwing in plenty of drop shots to test Murray's movement in another encouraging step on the road back towards challenging the top.

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The Scot, who leads the head-to-head 11-8, added: "I think it will be a nice match to play".

The Scot injured his hip in his 2017 French Open semi-final against Wawrinka, while the Swiss had a disrupted two years with a knee injury.

"Me and Stan have played a lot against each other. We've played against each other in some big matches in the past in big tournaments", Murray said.

Britain's Andy Murray in action against Dominic Thiem of Austria.

Whatever happens, just getting to the final has been a remarkable effort, having arrived in Belgium after three weeks in China, aware all the while that wife Kim is soon to give birth to their third child back home in Surrey.

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