Andy Murray into Brisbane semis; Victoria Azarenka pulls out
Azarenka made the announcement Friday about a half hour before she was due to play No. 3 Williams, who is on a roll after winning titles at Wimbledon, the London Olympics and the U.S. Open.
The withdrawal came shortly after Andy Murray, the Olympic men's gold medalist and U.S. Open champion, finished off his 6-4, 7-6 (3) win over Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin in the quarterfinals.
Murray had lapses in his opening three-set win over No. 199-ranked Australian qualifier John Millman on Thursday night, while Ivan Lendl was en route to Australia, but had no serious trouble with his coach in the stands.
The first of Murray's three titles in a breakthrough 2012 season was in Brisbane, where he started working with former No. 1-ranked Lendl last January. The next two titles were career-defining triumphs at the London Olympics and U.S. Open.
Murray said he was satisfied with his serve _ he didn't get broken in the match _ and was starting to get over the aches and pains that are usual when returning from the end-of-season break.
``When you're practicing it's hard to replicate match situations ... and they're the things that take a while to get back into the rhythm of playing,'' he said, putting his relatively slow
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