BRISBANE INTERNATIONAL 2012
Murray To Face Dolgopolov In Final
by ATP Staff|
World No. 4 Murray advanced to his 31st tour-level final after he defeated eighth-seeded Australian Bernard Tomic 6-3, 6-2 in the semi-finals, under the gaze of his new coach former World No. 1 Ivan Lendl, who flew into the city earlier in the day. Murray struck 13 aces overall and won 18 of his 19 service points in the first set.
"I served very well today, which is important against Bernard," said Murray. "He started very well, but I managed to get into a lot of long rallies at the end of the first set and got through. I'm moving so much better; it's just a huge part of my game.
"When I move well, the rest of my game goes well and I made it difficult for Bernard to hit loads of clean winners and got into loads of long rallies. When I do that, that's when I play my best tennis."
Earlier on Saturday, Dolgopolov, currently No. 15 in the South African Airways 2012 ATP Rankings, fired into his first ATP World Tour hard-court title match (his third overall) when he overcame second-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-4 in 82 minutes on Pat Rafter Arena. Dolgopolov dropped nine points on serve and hit three aces.
Murray will take a perfect 2-0 record against Dolgopolov into the final. The pair first met on Davis Cup duty in 2006, when Ukraine tackled Great Britain in a Euro-African zone tie. Last year, Murray stopped Dolgopolov's Australian Open run in the quarter-finals with a four-set victory.
"[I'm expecting] similar to today's match," admitted Murray. "He's a very unorthodox player, uses a lot of slice and can generate a lot of power like Bernard. I'm going to have to be on my game, play very consistently and hopefully serve like I did today; it makes the game so much easier."
The 24-year-old Murray, who has been a runner-up at the Australian Open for the past two years, has a 21-9 record in tour-level finals and lifted five trophies in 2011.
Dolgopolov, 23, captured his first ATP World Tour title at the ATP Studena Croatia Open in Umag (d. Cilic) on 31 July last year. He also finished runner-up at the Brasil Open in Costa do Sauipe (l. to Almagro).