Djokovic draws Mur­ray in fi­nal

The Denver Post - - OFF & RUNNING -

mel­bourne, aus­tralia » Andy Mur­ray ar­rived at the Aus­tralian Open pre­pared to be­come a father be­fore be­com­ing a cham­pion in Mel­bourne.

Mur­ray left his preg­nant wife in Great Bri­tain be­fore the start of the tour­na­ment, promis­ing to fly home at any time if needed.

But the 28- year- old Mur­ray has now given him­self a chance of be­com­ing a tour­na­ment cham­pion first af­ter his five- set vic­tory over Mi­los Raonic on Fri­day to reach the Aus­tralian Open fi­nal for the fifth time.

Mur­ray’s 4- 6, 7- 5, 6- 7 ( 4), 6- 4, 6- 2 vic­tory set up a show­down with five- time tour­na­ment cham­pion No­vak Djokovic in Sun­day’s ti­tle match.

Mur­ray is 0- 4 in fi­nals at Mel­bourne Park, with Djokovic hav­ing won all five of his pre­vi­ous Aus­tralian Open fi­nals.

“Five fi­nals is a great achieve­ment. You can’t take that away from me,” Mur­ray said. “So I have to be proud of that achieve­ment.

“It doesn’t mat­ter­what’s hap­pened in the past.”

Three of Djokovic’s wins in Aus­tralia have come in fi­nals against his old friend Mur­ray, ev­ery odd- num­bered year since 2011.

“He loves play­ing on this court, and we’ve played a bunch of times here,” Mur­ray said. “Hope­fully it can be a dif­fer­ent re­sult Sun­day.”

Mur­ray has had a lot on his mind in Mel­bourne. His wife, Kim, is ex­pect­ing their first baby next month. His father- in­law, Nigel Sears, was in Mel­bourne as Ana Ivanovic’s coach and had to be rushed to a hos­pi­tal by am­bu­lance dur­ing a match at Rod Laver Arena, which hap­pened to co­in­cide with Mur­ray’s third- round match in an ad­ja­cent arena.

Sears spent a night in a hos­pi­tal then was con­sid­ered well enough to re­turn home. While his father- in- law was be­ing treated, Mur­ray at times thought his de­par­ture from Aus­tralia may have been ear­lier than ex­pected.

He stayed and won his next two matches in straight sets, shak­ing out some of the emo­tions.

Vin­cent Thian, The As­so­ci­ated Press

Bri­tish star AndyMur­ray cel­e­brates Fri­day af­ter win­ning a point against Mi­los Raonic of Canada.

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