Andy Murray has reached the Australian Open final after coming back from a set down to beat Tomas Berdych 6-7 (6-8), 6-0, 6-3, 7-5. He will face the winner of Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka clash.
Any hope that Dani Vallverdu had improved the Czech’s composure may have been put to bed today, as Berdych erred and lost his head making 56 unforced errors to Murray’s 39.
This is the first time that Murray has faced his ex-coach and long term friend Vallverdu since he controversially left the backroom team of the two-time Grand Slam champion.
“A lot was made about Dani Vallverdu, my former coach, working with Tomas, but we’ve been friends since we were 15 and I felt that the focus was unfair and unnecessary,” Murray told the BBC.
There were early questions of a possible injury to Murray as he appeared to pull up after getting down to save a drop shot, but these were soon allayed as he carved his way back into a tight opening set.
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Berdych managed to convert his first break point of the night for 5-3, but Murray managed to break back with a series of crushing forehands to level it at 5-5.
With the contest even, Murray took the advantage leaving Berdych to save a set point and serve out the set for the initial lead.
Although Berdych’s serve looked strong the first set, it dropped early in the second, which Murray won emphatically after a superb lob helped him break 2-0, and the Brit streaked to a bagel triumph.
Berdych got himself back on the scoreboard early in the third set, but his serve had become predicable, and his game lacked any variety. The Czech was pushed by Murray on at game point on his serve, only to be caught out by a forehand winner down the line to take a 2-1 lead.
The seventh seed’s game crumbled - as it has so often done in major tournaments - and double faulted handing Murray the break point at 5-5 in the final set leaving the British number one to serve out the match with an ace.
Murray was cheered on by a notably animated Kim Sears, with her reactions resulting in a Twitter trend, and even Anne Keothavong retweeting a clip of her expletive laden outburst.