Andy Murray will face Russia’s Aslan Karatsev in his first ATP Tour final since 2019 at the Sydney Tennis Classic on Saturday morning.
Murray, who has endured years of injury woe, will compete in his first showpiece match since the 2019 European Open, where he beat Stan Wawrinka to win his only singles trophy since undergoing hip surgery in January 2019.
Victory in Sydney would be the ideal preparation for the Australian Open – which starts on Monday – but he faces a tough assignment against Karatsev, who prevented Dan Evans from setting up the first all-British final at ATP Tour level.
Follow Sportsmail’s Oli Gamp for live coverage of Andy Murray vs Aslan Karatsev in the Sydney Tennis Classic final, including build-up and game-by-game updates.
And what about Murray’s opponent?
We had been licking our lips in anticipation of an all-British final, with Dan Evans having the chance to set up an incredible clash against Murray – but fell to a 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 defeat against Russian Karatsev.
It wasn’t without controversy either, with the British man letting rip at the umpire and officials in Sydney after Karatsev took a five-minute bathroom break.
He said they were a ‘f***ing embarrassment to the sport’ in a furious tirade as Karatsev kept his composure and made it through to face Murray.
Dan Evans labels officials a ‘f***ing EMBARRASSMENT to the sport’
British No 2 Dan Evans lost control of his emotions early in the third set when he questioned the amount of time Aslan Karatsev was allowed to take for a bathroom break before the deciding set.
How we got here
After going a set down against the American – following a nail-biting tie-breaker – the 34-year-old battled hard to win the next two sets 6-4, 6-4 after some consistent serving and even better returning to set up a final with Karatsev.
Andy Murray through to his first ATP Tour-level final since 2019
In what was his first ATP Tour-level semi-final in 822 days, Murray showed all the class in his returning game against one of the Tour’s biggest servers in Opelka to win it 6-7, 6-4, 6-4.
Are you ready for an Andy Murray final? We haven’t had too many recently but the three-time Grand Slam winner is in his first showpiece on the ATP Tour since 2019 after beating Reilly Opelka in three sets at the Sydney Tennis Classic. Aslan Karatsev is now all that stands in his way of a first accolade for three years.
After Murray had major hip surgery at the start of January, his career looked to be over – before making a stunning comeback, and while he hasn’t hit the previous heights of when he was British No 1 and formerly world No 1, it’s great to see him back with a chance of winning a tournament.
All the action here is due to get underway at around 8am GMT.