/ Tennis

Murray through to Brisbane International final after Nishikori forced to retire from semi-final

Updated: Saturday, 05 Jan 2013 15:36 | Comments

Andy Murray will face Grigor Dimitrov as he bids to defend his Brisbane International title
Andy Murray will face Grigor Dimitrov as he bids to defend his Brisbane International title

Top seed Andy Murray advanced to the final of the Brisbane International as his Japanese opponent Kei Nishikori was forced to withdraw in the second set of their last-four clash.

Nishikori started the semi-final strongly against the world number three but was 6-4 2-0 when he threw in the towel because of a knee problem.

Murray, who beat the 23-year-old in the quarter-finals of last season's Australian Open, was a break down in the first set but won five games in a row seal it against his fifth-seeded opponent.

Nishikori took a medical timeout at the end of the set, but took the court for the start of the second.

Murray broke in the first game, however, and backed it up by holding his service game, at which point Nishikori decided enough was enough.

In the final Murray will face Grigor Dimitrov, who beat Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-3 5-7 7-6 (7/5).

Whereas Murray was off court in 45 minutes, the Bulgarian, ranked 48th in the world, was pushed to the limit in a little under two and a half hours of tennis against Baghdatis.

"I hope there isn't a few coming through because then it means I'll be one of the ones losing out on my spot" - Andy Murray

"I've served pretty well for the majority of the tournament and I've moved better every single match," Murray told reporters.

"Grigor plays with a lot of variety and he can play a lot of shots. He's one of the few guys coming through with a single-handed backhand as well, so he uses a lot more slice."

Murray admitted, however, that he was wary of Dimitrov after he beat former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis 6-3 5-7 7-6 (7/5) to reach the final.

The 21-year-old represents a breed of young players beginning to make their mark and has already accounted for fellow rising star Milos Raonic and Jurgen Melzer this week.

"From my point of view I hope there isn't a few coming through because then it means I'll be one of the ones losing out on my spot," Murray, the world number three, said.

"I have no idea whether he'll be nervous tomorrow or he'll enjoy the occasion. We'll find out.

"Everyone deals with certain situations differently."

Murray was a break down in the first set today but won five games in a row seal it against his fifth-seeded Japanese opponent.

Nishikori took a medical timeout at the end of the set, but took to the court for the start of the second.

Murray broke in the first game, however, and backed it up by holding his service game, at which point Nishikori decided enough was enough.

"I felt it yesterday against Dolgopolov and then this morning it was worse, but I decided to play," Nishikori said.

"I didn't want to risk too much and so I decided to retire.

"I saw the doctor now and he said it's not a big thing. There's a bit of tendinitis and the patella is hurting, but just to take a couple of days off for a bit of treatment and hopefully it gets better."

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