MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Andy Murray overcame a blistering start from Tomas Berdych to advance to his fourth Australian Open final with a 6-7(6) 6-0 6-3 7-5 victory on Thursday.
Murray will meet either top seed Novak Djokovic or defending champion Stan Wawrinka, who play their semi-final on Friday, for the title.
It is Murray’s first grand slam final since he beat Djokovic at Wimbledon in 2013, and eighth of his career.
“I was obviously disappointed to lose the first set,” Murray said in a courtside interview. “But I started to feel better and stick to my game and I was more aggressive in the second set.
“I was trying to get him running more, which was important because I needed to change the momentum.”
The 29-year-old Berdych had ended a 17-match losing streak against third seed Rafa Nadal in the quarter-finals and looked in a hurry against Murray to reach his second grand slam final.
Berdych, who is now coached by Dani Vellverdu – a former member of Murray’s coaching team – started at a blistering pace that had the Scot hanging on by his fingernails as he scrambled all around court to save his own serve.
The Czech conceded just two points on his first four service games before Murray clawed his way back with Berdych serving for the set at 5-3 and then forced it into a tiebreak, which the seventh seed surprisingly won after saving a set point when Murray hit a forehand into the net.