AUSTRALIAN Open success would not only see Britain’s Andy Murray win a first grand slam since Wimbledon in 2013 but also make history as the only man in the Open era to win the title after suffering defeat in three finals.
Murray sealed his place in Sunday’s showdown with a tetchy 6-7 (6/8), 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 victory against Czech Tomas Berdych yesterday, and will face either world No1 Novak Djokovic or defending champion Stan Wawrinka, who were due to play their last-four tie this morning.
The 27-year-old is treading a familiar path after making the final for the fourth time in six years, losing in 2011 and 2013 to four-time winner Djokovic, while he slipped to defeat against Roger Federer in 2010.
His encounter with Berdych was perforated by a number of heated moments, fuelled by Murray going up against former coach Dani Vallverdu, who is now part of his rival’s camp, for the first time since their split in November.
“A lot was made of Dani working with him,” said Murray. “This is sport, there is more to life and I thought it was unfair and created a bit of extra tension. It was there definitely at the beginning but I think everyone calmed down after the start of the match.
“But it’s great to be in the final four times here. Because I’m surrounded by guys like Roger [Federer], Novak [Djokovic] and Rafa [Nadal], it doesn’t look like much, but that doesn’t happen that often. So I’m very proud of that.”
Murray was also forced to defend fiancee Kate Sears after an alleged expletive-laden rant towards Berdych was caught on camera. The Scot added: “In the heat of the moment you can say stuff that you regret.”