Tennis: Thiem beats Murray to make Barcelona final

Dominic Thiem of Austria returns the ball to Andy Murray of Britain during their semi-final.
Dominic Thiem of Austria returns the ball to Andy Murray of Britain during their semi-final.PHOTO: EPA

BARCELONA (AFP) – Dominic Thiem claimed his first win over world number one Andy Murray to book his place in the final of the Barcelona Open on Saturday (April 29) 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.

The Austrian will face Rafael Nadal, who is looking for his 10th title in Barcelona, or Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos on Sunday.

Murray squeezed past Albert Ramos-Vinolas in a three-hour encounter on Friday and looked flat-footed as Thiem roared through the opening set with three breaks of serve in just over half an hour.

The Scot had to stave off another break point in a marathon opening game to the second set.

But he held on and then jumped at his chance to break for 5-3 before serving out to take the match to a decider.

Murray, though, still looks a pale shadow of the player that rose to number one on a spectacular run at the end of last year as he struggles for form and fitness after an elbow injury.

Thiem had to battle back from a break down in the third, but constantly put pressure on the Murray serve and broke another three times in the deciding set to seal his place in the final.