Murray overcomes controversy to reach St Petersburg final

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ST PETERSBURG, Oct 27 (Reuters) British second seed Andy Murray saved a matchpoint and overcame a controversial line call to beat Russian Mikhail Youzhny 6-2 5-7 7-6 in the semi-finals of the St Petersburg Open today.

Youzhny served for the match at 5-3 in the decider but the 20-year-old Scot broke back, then saved a matchpoint in the next game to level at 5-5.

With the third seed clearly upset with himself for the lost opportunity, Murray took his chance to clinch victory after Youzhny double-faulted on matchpoint to lose the tiebreaker 7-1.

Murray, making his first appearance in Russia's second city, broke Youzhny twice at the start of the first set to take a one-set lead but the match turned on its head late in the second.

The players were on serve until the Russian broke Murray's serve for the first time with the help of a controversial decision.

On set point, Youzhny's shot was clearly out but was ruled in. Murray was outraged by the decision but could do little to change the outcome as he had already used both his Hawk-Eye challenges in that set.

The 25-year-old Muscovite looked on course for victory after breaking the world number 16 in the fourth game of the decider, but lost his grip on the match after failing to convert his chances.

Murray will face the winner of the second semi-final between Spanish sixth seed Fernando Verdasco and Croatian qualifier Marin Cilic, who were playing later today.

REUTERS PDS RAI2138

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