British number one Andy Murray has secured progression to the Australian Open final for the fourth time after overcoming Tomas Berdych in Thursday’s semi-final.
Murray survived an early scare to book his place in the final of the first Grand Slam of the year as Berdych edged a tightly-contested first set.
However, the Scot went on to win in four; 6-7 (6-8) 6-0 6-3 7-5 and will now wait to learn whether he faces Novak Djokovic or Stan Wawrinka in Sunday’s final.
The 27-year-old’s chances were under threat after he dropped a tense opening set but he bounced back as he claimed seven straight games to establish control.
The sixth seed admitted that there was a high level of tension surrounding the match with his ex-coach Dani Vallverdu now in the Czech’s corner.
However, he insisted the tension calmed down as the match progressed and he was able to focus fully on the job at hand.
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 sport. It created a bit of extra tension but everyone calmed down after start of the match.”
Murray can be backed at 2.70 to win the Australian Open, while Djokovic remains favourite to lift the silverware and is valued at 1.57 ahead of his meeting with Wawrinka, who is available at 10.00 to win the tournament outright.