Andy Murray reaches final in Brisbane as Kei Nishikori retires

Andy Murray
Andy Murray

Britain's Andy Murray eased into the final of the Brisbane International after Kei Nishikori retired from their semi-final with a left knee injury.

World number three and top seed Murray recovered from a break down to win the first set 6-4 with five straight games.

He was 2-0 up in the second when Japan's Nishikori, 23, pulled out.

Murray, 25, will meet Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, who beat Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-3 5-7 7-6 (7-5) in the other semi-final, in Sunday's final.

"I have no idea whether he'll be nervous or he'll enjoy the occasion - we'll find out tomorrow," said Olympic and US Open champion Murray, who beat Dimitrov in their only previous meeting, in the Thailand Open in 2011.

"Grigor plays with a lot of variety and he can play a lot of shots. He's one of the few guys coming through with a single-handed backhand, so he uses a lot more slice."

Nishikori injured his knee during Friday's quarter-final win over Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov, and the problem got worse overnight.

However, the world number 19 remains hopeful he can compete in the Australian Open, which starts on 14 January. He reached the quarter-finals last year.

"I felt it against Dolgopolov and this morning it was worse, but I decided to play," said Nishikori. "I didn't want to risk too much and so I decided to retire."

Murray spent just 45 minutes on court, while Dimitrov needed almost two and a half hours to see off former Australian Open finalist Baghdatis.

"I'm very happy, especially to start the first tournament of the year. It's definitely a great feeling," said 21-year-old Dimitrov.