ANDY MURRAY will hope the promising signs he showed at the Australian Open are not compromised by a sudden switch to clay for Davis Cup.
The Wimbledon champion was able to see the positive side after losing to Roger Federer in the quarter-finals in only his second tournament after back surgery.
Murray spent three months recovering from the operation and getting himself back in the right shape to compete at a grand slam but the tournament came a little too soon.
Murray was generally happy with his back during the Australian Open, although he struggled at times with stiffness in the area.
He will head to San Diego on Sunday to lead Britain’s Davis Cup team in their tough World Group encounter against the United States.
To give themselves a better chance of beating the world No 4, the US took the unusual step of choosing clay for a home tie, the first time they have done so in 22 years.
The Scot, who skipped last year’s French Open but who has also put his name forward to play doubles alongside Colin Fleming, said: “It’s not perfect for rehabbing a back surgery. Ideally I’d stay on the same surface.”
Stanislas Wawrinka beat Tomas Berdych to reach his first grand slam final and raise the prospect of an all-Swiss title decider at the Australian Open.
The 28-year-old, seeded seventh, defeated the Czech eighth seed 6-3 6-7 (1-7) 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-4) in the first men’s semi-final.
He will play either compatriot Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal, who meet today.
Dominika Cibulkova will tomorrow face Li Na in the women’s final.
The 5ft 3ins Slovakian and world No 24 took only an hour and 10 minutes to blast her way to a 6-1 6-2 victory over Agnieszka Radwanska, with 21 winners.
In the first semi-final, Li ended the brilliant run of teenager Eugenie Bouchard 6-2 6-4 to reach her third final in the last four years in Melbourne.