Sunday, January 16, 2022

BBC streams Murray’s final in Sydney as Brit seeks top 100 return

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No, it’s not 2012…but UK viewers can get a brew on Saturday morning and watch a Murray finale on the BBC

Murray is through to the final of the Sydney Tennis Classic after beating Reilly Opelka and Nikoloz Basilashvili – also his opponent in the first round of Tuesday’s Australian Open.

27 months later, Andy Murray is in a tour-level final at 47th ATP title in sight just before the start of the Australian Open.

“It’s already been a great week for me, a big step up from everything I’ve done in the last year or so to string together four games like this and against top players in Basilashvili and Opelka,” said Murray, who recently won an ATP title in Antwerp in October 2019.

“I’ll take 47 [on Saturday]. It’s been a good week, I’ve been playing better with every game so hopefully I’ll do better than that.”

Standing in his way is Aslan Karatsev, who prevented an all-British final when he defeated Dan Evans in three sets.

Karatsev was world No. 112 this time last year but shot up the rankings after reaching the Australian Open semifinals, while titles in Dubai and Moscow helped him break into the top 20.

That’s certainly an area Murray would be keen to return to as the 34-year-old Briton is currently world No. 135 but is keen to show retirement is a distant dream and that he is still capable to beat the best.

Overcoming Karatsev would make it clear that Murray’s level defies his ranking and suggest he could become a seed again in Grand Slams and other tournaments in an injury-free season.

That road will be long and bumpy, but if Murray can put his hip pain behind him and continue to reach the finals, then it’s a goal that could well be achieved.

He will jump at least 20 places after reaching the final of the Sydney Tennis Classic, while a win would see him into the top 100.

Murray was last able to call himself a top 100 player for the week of May 28, 2018. More than three and a half years later, it could be in double digits again.

That would be a significant milestone on his return from multiple surgeries and the BBC have revealed they are interested in televising part of that journey too by stepping up with an 11th hour announcement that they will broadcast the finals.

This means British tennis fans can grab a brew on Saturday morning and watch a Murray final on terrestrial TV (provided they press the red button or go to the BBC app on their smart TV). No, this isn’t 2012, but it certainly has a beautiful ring to it – and one that most would love to listen to over and over again.

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