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Battle of the Brits: Andy Murray beaten by Dan Evans in semi-final

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Murray was playing his fourth match in five days in his first event since November

British number one Dan Evans overcame a strong start by Andy Murray to beat the three-time Grand Slam champion and reach the Battle of Brits final.

Evans was outplayed by Murray in the opening set but won 1-6 6-3 10-8 to set up a final with Kyle Edmund or Cameron Norrie.

Murray was playing in his first event for seven months after a pelvic injury.

This is an exhibition event but the quality has been high and has given Murray a good measure of his fitness.

Evans capitalised on a drop-off in energy from Murray in the second set, coupled with a change of his own tactics to come forward more, to draw level and take the match to a deciding tie-break.

World number 28 Evans recovered from a 4-1 deficit in the match tie-break to claim victory with a backhand down the line.

“He did a lot good in the first set. In the end it came down to the big points,” Evans told Amazon Prime.

“I got a little lucky today but I’m just happy to come through.”

Murray’s ‘best set of tennis for a long time’

Murray, 33, got off to a blistering start, his movement and dominance of the baseline rallies reminiscent of the days when he was world number one before hip surgery stalled his career.

At the changeover at the end of the first set, his coach Jamie Delgado said: “He’s played a fantastic set of tennis. It’s the best set of tennis I’ve seen him play for a long time.

“He’s had glimpses through the week and dropped off a couple of times. This is the most consistent set he’s played at this level for quite a while.

“He naturally ups his level the more he knows he’s playing a good player.”

That will be reassuring for Murray, as will the fact he has now come through four matches in five days, with one more – a third-place play-off – to play on Sunday.

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