Andy Murray breezes into Rio 2016 Olympics gold medal match after impressive 6-1, 6-4 men's singles victory over Kei Nishikori
- Andy Murray is through to gold medal match at Rio 2016 Olympics
- Murray beat world No 7 Kei Nishikori in straight sets on Saturday
- Brit will face either Rafael Nadal or Juan Martin Del Potro for gold
- Murray becomes the first man ever to reach consecutive Olympic finals
Not a ranking point or a dollar of prize money in sight, but that has no relevance to Andy Murray, who is one match away from pulling off his mission to win another gold medal.
The world No 2 put in a wonderfully aggressive performance to defeat world No 7 Kei Nishikori 6-1, 6-4 in 79 minutes, his serve and return particularly outstanding.
Murray looked emotional at the end after taking three match points to close the tie out, having nervously missed the first two and then set up a third with an incredible backhand pass while in the midst of falling over.
He was left awaiting the winner of the second semi-final between the suddenly resurgent Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin Del Potro.
The two players walked out for a high calibre semi-final to a stadium with barely 2,000 fans in it, albeit as the first match of the programme. Both might have been a little leg weary after arduous quarter finals that they were lucky to survive.
In slightly less windy conditions than some days the opening games were close with both men feeling each other out in some lengthy rallies on this slow surface.
Murray looked cloyed by tension in the previous two matches but in the fourth game started to really crack his groundstrokes off both flanks and force the speedy Japanese onto the back foot.
MURRAY'S ROUTE TO FINAL
He broke for 3-1 with a series of forehands that drove Nishikori into the corner and then kept calm when, in the next game, he was given a somewhat harsh time violation by umpire Carlos Ramos.
Murray, able to exert pressure with his return of serve, broke for a second time when his opponent made a terrible hash of an overhead and then closed it out comfortably in 31 minutes with an ace.
But we have seen before this week that the first set guarantees nothing for the world No 2, and Nishikori seemed to up his game accordingly.
That was until the fifth game when the unforced errors crept back into the world No 7's game and he was broken after a hopelessly miscued drop shot. Murray emphatically consolidated it with strong serving to go 4-2 up.
The Scot wanted to stay fired up and found the means to do that through Japanese fans shouting out and photographers moving courtside. He was also non-plussed by Nishikori being late out from a changeover after his own earlier caution.
Murray will need to show the same aggression when he takes on Grand Slam-winning opposition in the gold medal match.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/article-3739016/Andy-Murray-breezes-Rio-2016-gold-medal-match-impressive-6-1-6-4-victory-Kei-Nishikori.html#ixzz4HEXQVumg
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook