Murray into fourth Australian Open final after epic win over Berdych

Andy Murray fought back after dropping the first set to defeat Tomas Berdych and secure a place in his fourth Australian Open final.

The sixth seed, who has lost all of his previous finals, lost a lengthy first set but turned the match around to take the 6-7 (6-8) 6-0 6-3 7-5 victory.

He will now face the winner of Friday’s semi-final clash between world no.1 Novak Djokovic and defending Stan Wawrinka in the final – his first without former assistant coach Dani Vallverdu, who now coaches Berdych.

Murray said: “There was a little bit of extra tension – it was a big match.

“A lot was made about Dani Vallverdu, my former coach, working with Tomas.

“But we’ve been friends since we were 15 years old and I felt that the focus was unfair and unnecessary.

“This is sport – and there’s more to life than just sport.

“It was there at the beginning but everyone calmed down after start of the match.”

The 27-year-old trailed 6-4 in the head-to-head and a tight-fought 76-minute first set showed the odds were in favour of Berdych again after Murray struggled with his serve.

The tension was evident between the two players as the Czech player visibly mouthed something to the Brit at the end of the first set.

Despite squandering a set-point opportunity at 6-5 in the first set tie-break, Murray appeared to shake-off the comments as he turned the match around immediately in the second set and began to dictate play from the back of the court, taking it 6-0 in just 30 minutes.

The third set saw Murray’s game flow much more than the Czech’s as he fell apart with two consecutive double faults in the sixth game, allowing the Scot to capitalise on his break point opportunity.

Berdych re-grouped and found some form in the fourth set as both men grappled for the break of serve.

But it was handed to Murray at 5-5 after two errors and a double fault from the seventh seed allowed the Brit to serve to victory.

Sunday’s final will be Murray’s eighth Grand Slam final – his first with Amelie Mauresmo as coach.

He said: “A lot of people criticised me for working with her.

“I think so far this week we’ve shown that women can be very good coaches as well.”

Image courtesy of Australian Open TV, via YouTube, with thanks

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