Andy Murray and young Aussie Bernard Tomic both play with a particularly beguiling brand of wizardry. However, master Murray dismissed his apprentice today, 6-3 6-2, to move into the final of the Brisbane International.
Before the approving gaze of new coach Ivan Lendl, the world number four was faster, smarter and slicker than the 19 year old throughout.
However, with Tomic initially chopping, slicing, spinning and driving with equal aplomb, it was 4-3 before Murray secured the break, serving out the set decisively with two aces.
Murray broke immediately at the start of the second, which saw the world number 42 attended to by the ATP trainer for a foot problem. The injury dashed any hopes of a comeback and, when the Scot sealed a second break at 5-2, the night crowd's thoughts probably shifted to opening time at Fortitude Valley.Read more (175 words)
Murray, pursuing his 22nd ATP Tour title, helped them on their way to that delicious first beer with a nerveless love service game to propel himself into the final against Alexandr Dolgopolov.
Murray said, "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 just moving so much better. It's such a huge part of my game so, when I move well, the rest of my game goes well and it made it hard for Bernard to hit lots of clean winners."
World number 15 Alexandr Dolgopolov reached his first ATP hardcourt final, with a hard-earned 6-3 6-4 victory over Gilles Simon. The Ukrainian, also no stranger to Alistair Campbell levels of guile and spin, needed treatment for a groin strain, although it failed to stem the flow of winners from his rocket forehand.
The singles final in Brisbane will follow the doubles, which starts at midday on Sunday, local time. Murray holds a 2-0 head-to-head lead over Dolgopolov.