Murray beats Kyrgios 6-3 7-6 6-3

Andy Murray continued his pursuit of a first Australian Open title in Melbourne today, with a convincing victory over the Australian youngster Nick Kyrgios. Despite strong home support for the ebullient 19-year-old, the Scot was always the dominant player during the match and confirmed a straight sets success 6-3 7-6 6-3. He will now recover and prepare to do battle with Tomas Berdych in Thursday's semi-final Down Under.

Britain's number one went into the quarter-final full of confidence after only losing one set so far this campaign, besides seeming to have something of an edge over the current Aussie contenders, with a perfect 10-0 record in matches against Australians on his side.

He acknowledged in the aftermath of his previous win in the event that he would not maintain that statistic for much longer, given the crop of upcoming players coming through from the Southern hemisphere nation, but this proved not to be that occasion.

Twenty-seven-year-old Murray played a smart match at the Rod Laver Arena against his less experienced opponent, who had survived an epic five-setter in the previous round against Andreas Seppi. He asserted himself on Kyrgios from the start, in marked contrast to the less than inspiring manner he began with against Grigor Dimitrov, perhaps learning from that experience. His serve was working well, always a good sign of Murray in his best form.

Added to that he befuddled the Aussie with variations in spin and sought to keep him confused and off balance, with changes in angle on his choice of shot.

When the unseeded player did force his way into contention on the points, Murray responded more often than not by finding a winner or producing a strong serve. He duly took the first set after a break of serve in the sixth game, as he piled the pressure on and forced mistakes.

Set two proved to be the decisive one in the contest, with Australian fans finally having something to cheer, as Kyrgios threatened to take the set and forced a tie-break. That looked likely when he achieved a mini-break at 4-3, but the Scot fought back with a magical touch that saw two deft lobs help to earn him the points he needed to sneak the set instead.

The teenager was faced with a repeat of his match against Seppi, trailing by two sets yet again. However, the number six seed was in no mood to allow him back into the contest and looked to be safely on his way to clinching set three, when another astute lob gave him a break at 4-2. It wasn't quite finished yet though, as he fluffed his lines briefly and yielded a first break on his own serve in the following game.

With his attention re-focussed though, he capitalised on a dubious line call decision in the next Kyrgios service game to regain his advantage at 5-3. There was to be no way back for the Australian this time, as Murray served out for the match and took the victory after a little over two hours of play.

Murray's success puts him into his fifth semi-final at the Australian Open and 15th last-four match in total across all of the Grand Slam events. A tremendous feat in itself, but somehow that doesn't seem sufficient for him as he really wants that first title in Melbourne under his belt, after being the runner-up three times previously. With Berdych (the number seven seed) in ominous form himself after crushing Rafael Nadal in his quarter-final match, the semi-final will be no walkover for the Scot.