Britain’s No. 1 Andy Murray came back from a set down to beat Tomas Berdych and progress to his fourth Australian Open final on Thursday.
The Scot, seeded sixth in Melbourne Park this year, converted six of ten break points, capitalising on Berdych’s 56 unforced errors to clinch a 6-7(6) 6-0 6-3 7-5 win in 3 hrs; 16mins and will play the winner of Friday night’s second semi-finals between Novak Djokovic and defending champion Stanislas Wawrinka.
“I felt like tonight I made some big adjustments in the match from how things were going at the start. I’ll need to do the same thing again on the Sunday against Novak or Stan, because things that you think will work doesn’t always work out that way,” Murray said in his post-game spin.
“You need to be able to make adjustments in the middle of the match. That’s where it doesn’t necessarily always come down to the coach. It has to come down to the individual as well, because we can’t get coaching during the match.
It is his first Grand Slam final since winning the 2013 Wimbledon and is attempting to clinch his third Major championship to add to his triumph at the US Open in 2012, both times beating Djokovic. He is 2-5 in Grand Slam finals.
The Dunblane native is attempting to become the first man in the Open Era to win the Australian Open title after losing three finals. He finished runner-up in 2010 (defeated by Roger Federer), 2011 (defeated by Djokovic) and 2013 (defeated by Djokovic).
He added: “I’m proud of my record here. I’ll try my best on Sunday. I’ll go in with best tactics possible, prepare well, couple days’ rest, recover as best as I can. And, yeah, all I can do is give my best. If it’s enough, great. If not, I literally couldn’t have done anything more to put myself in a better position come Sunday.”
On Thursday, the 27-year-old lost a hard-fought 76-minutes opening set before taking the initiative to dominate the rest of the match. The win- his first over Berdych since the 2012 ATP World Tour Finals- saw him close in on their ATP head-to-head record 5-6 having lost their past two meetings.
“I thought the beginning of the match he started out well,” Murray explained in his post-game interview. “I was a little bit tentative at the beginning and getting used to his ball. He hits the ball extremely hard and flat. At the start I felt like I was on the back foot a little bit. Towards the end of the first set I started to come into it more, be more aggressive.
“Then second set I just picked up from how I was playing at the end of the first. I felt like I could have won the first set. Obviously had some chances there. I was extremely aggressive in the second set. Managed to run away with it.”
Berdych, who is coached by Murray’s long-time friend Daniel Vallverdu, had been attempting to reach just his second Grand Slam final. He lost to Murray at the same stage of the 2012 US Open. He was a losing finalist at Wimbledon in 2010. (lost to Rafael Nadal).
Murray said: “I sat in here the other day and got asked more questions about Dani than I did about the match I just played. So you wanted there to be tension (with Dani at his corner). Yeah, because of everything that’s gone on it’s kind of a natural thing to happen. If you learn how the brain works, it’s completely natural for that. So kind of expected, and, yeah, had planned for that to be the case as well.”