MELBOURNE, Australia

Andy Murray and a much lesser-known British player, Johanna Konta, advanced to the Australian Open semifinals today, when the action on court had to compete, again, with news about the integrity of the sport.

Murray beat David Ferrer 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-3 to reach his 18th Grand Slam semifinal. Konta, who is making her debut in the main draw at the season’s first major, had a 6-4, 6-1 win over Chinese qualifier Zhang Shuai.

It’s the first time since the December 1977 version of the Australian Open that two British players — John Lloyd and Sue Barker that year — have advanced to the final four of any major.

Konta, the first British woman to reach a Grand Slam semifinal since Jo Durie at the 1983 U.S. Open, will play Angelique Kerber, who beat two-time champion Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 7-5. Born in Australia but living in Britain since her early teens, Konta also has Hungarian citizenship and calls herself a “tri-citizen.”

The No. 2-ranked Murray, who has lost four finals at Melbourne Park, will meet Milos Raonic in the semifinals. The 25- year-old Canadian beat Gael Monfils 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6- 4 in a night match, continuing his strong form that has seen him beat Roger Federer in the Brisbane International final and French Open champion Stan Wawrinka in the fourth round here.

Novak Djokovic and Federer will contest the other semifinal.

From the start, the Australian Open has been overshadowed by media reports alleging tennis authorities had failed to thoroughly investigate suspicion of match-fixing.

Just as Kerber began her match with Azarenka, the governing bodies of tennis announced they will commission an independent review of their anti-corruption unit to restore “public confidence in our sport.”

In announcing the review, ATP Chairman Chris Kermode said the reports had “caused damage to the sport,” which compelled the major stakeholders in tennis — the International Tennis Federation, ATP and WTA tours, and the four Grand Slams — to take quick action to address the issue.

Back on the courts, Murray’s match with Ferrer involved plenty of long rallies. Two of them — at 27 and 31 shots in length — came during the second-set tiebreaker, and Murray lost both of those points. But the Scotsman moved out to a 4-1 lead in the third set, during which there was a brief break when the roof on Rod Laver Arena was closed because of an approaching thunderstorm.

Murray liked it with a roof over his head.

“That helped me a little bit,” Murray said. “I like playing indoors. I think it was actually good for us to have a little bit of a break.”


Comments are not available on this story.