Andy Murray & Dan Evans reach Sydney Tennis Classic semi-finals

Murray moved well on court despite his gruelling three-hour encounter with Nikoloz Basilashvili on Wednesday

Britain’s Andy Murray and Dan Evans reached the Sydney Tennis Classic semi-finals by winning their last-eight matches on Thursday.

Murray progressed when David Goffin retired with a knee problem after the Scot had won the first set 6-2.

The former world number one, 34, was joined by Englishman Evans, who beat American Maxime Cressy 6-4 7-6 (7-5).

Murray will play another American, Reilly Opelka, on Friday with Evans taking on top seed Aslan Karatsev.

Murray produced some impressive tennis the day after being pushed all the way in a three-hour match with Georgia’s world number 23 Nikoloz Basilashvili, who he will face in the opening round of the Australian Open.

The three-time major winner raced into a 3-0 lead and saved break points at 3-1 with Goffin overhitting a second-serve return.

The Belgian eighth seed – whose 2021 season was ended early by a knee issue – called for a trainer for treatment on his knee before deciding he could not continue.

It is the first time Murray has won three matches in a row at tour level since taking the European Open title in October 2019.

Reilly Opelka hits a shot during his win over Australia's Jordan Thompson
Murray will face towering American Reilly Opelka for a place in the Sydney decider

He will now take on 6ft 11in Opelka in the last four, Murray’s first tour level semi-final since he triumphed in Antwerp.

“It’s obviously been a while for me,” he said.

“I have been getting closer in the last few months, and my results would suggest that. So it’s good to get there this early in the season. Hopefully I can keep building from here and have a strong year.”

Evans – who is due to face Goffin in his opening Australian Open match – kept alive the possibility of an all-British final in Sydney by overcoming 24-year-old Cressy in just under two hours.

The 31-year-old, who warmed up for last year’s Australian Open by claiming his first ATP title at the Murray River Open in Melbourne, has won all five of his singles matches this year, having claimed three wins at the ATP Cup.

Elsewhere, British number four Liam Broady beat Jeffrey Wolf 3-6 6-4 6-4 to reach the Australian Open’s final qualifying round, where he will face Russia’s Roman Safiullin on Friday.

Harriet Dart, the only Briton remaining in women’s qualifying, will play Australian wildcard Kimberly Birrell for a place in the main draw.

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