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Surbiton (England), June 11 – Andy Murray advanced to the Surbiton Challenger final after he ousted defending champion Jordan Thompson 7-6(5), 6-3 in the last four, here.
The Scot found rhythm from the start, jumping out to an early 3-0 lead. The Australian fought back to force a tie-break but Murray’s consistency and all-court coverage helped him move past Thompson in straight sets on Saturday.
Despite serving for the match at 5-2, Murray was broken before closing out the semi-final in the following game to set a clash against Austrian Jurij Rodionov.
Second seed Murray is aiming for his second Challenger title of the year after he triumphed at last month’s ATP Challenger Tour 175 event in Aix-en-Provence, France, where he defeated Tommy Paul in the final.
Should the 36-year-old Murray be crowned champion, he would become the oldest grass-court winner in Challenger history (since 1978). He is bidding to become just the sixth player to win Challenger titles on both clay and grass in the same season.
World No. 134 Rodionov defeated Belgian Zizou Bergs 6-2, 6-4 after winning 25 of 30 first-serve points.
Rodionov, who is a six-time Challenger champion, has not dropped a set this week and will aim for his first title on grass. The 24-year-old would become the first Austrian to win a Challenger title on grass.
Last season, Murray defeated Rodionov 6-2, 6-4 on the same court they will meet on Sunday afternoon.