Andy Murray has reached his first semi-final in over two years after beating Marius Copil 6-3 6-7 6-4 at the European Open.
Murray needed three sets against the Romanian qualifier to book his place in the last four in Antwerp.
It will be Murray’s first semi-final since the 2017 French Open as the Brit continues his singles comeback tour.
He found Copil tought at times, especially on his own second serve, and Murray was visibly happy to eventually get the job done.
Murray raced into a 2-0 lead in the opening set but was quickly pulled back by Copil.
Though the three-time Grand Slam winner did not get disheartened by having his serve broke and immediately went back ahead by breaking Copil’s serve again.
And Murray repeated the feat in the ninth game of the set to take it 6-3.
When Murray broke to make it 3-1 in the second set, and backed it up with a strong service game of his own, it looked like the match was done.
Indeed, the Scot served for the match at 5-3, but could not find a first serve. A double fault handed the break back to the Romanian. And the two maintained their serve to take the second set to a tie-break.
Murray earned the early break in the tie-break but a net chord helped Copil get it back on serve at 5-4. And the underdog eventually won the tie-break to take the match to a deciding set.
The third set stayed on serve for the first eight games until Murray had two break points at 4-4.
He converted the second, partly thanks to a superb drop shot, to give him another chance to serve for the match.
And this time he made it count to reach the semi-finals.
“When you get to the end of the match, it’s always difficult to serve it out,” Murray said.
“I played a bad game at 5-3 in the second set and after that, he gained a lot of confidence, served extremely well and was a lot more aggressive.
“It was a tough one to get through. I feel okay just now, but it’s more how you pull up the following day.
“The good thing about the indoor matches is that the points are fairly short so doesn’t take as much out of you as the slower courts outside.
“I feel okay, hopefully I pull up well tomorrow.”