Andy Murray breezed into the Sydney Tennis Classic semi-finals as his quarter-final opponent David Goffin retired during their match, guaranteeing he won three matches in an ATP Tour tournament for the first time since 2019.
The last time the Scot earned a hat-trick on the European Tour was at the European Open in Antwerp in October of this year, when he won his lone championship since his hip troubles began two years ago.
However, there have been some encouraging indications in the previous six months, most notably Murray's ability to play and train regularly, and he followed up a lengthy victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili with winning the first set 6-2 against former top-10 player Goffin.
Murray has beaten the Belgian in each of their seven matches, although he has had his own injury issues.
And pain in his knee forced the 31-year-old to retire after just one set, despite facing another British player in Dan Evans in the first round of the Australian Open next week.
“The movement was what I was most pleased with,” Murray said, as he also expressed his sympathy for Goffin. I maybe made a few more errors than what I would have liked, but I felt I moved well, which was really positive. I finished after midnight yesterday and I did a lot of running, so it was good to come out and move well today. Hopefully do the same again tomorrow.”
Murray will now face Reilly Opelka of the United States in his first tour-level semi-final since Antwerp.