Murray hopes for third time lucky

Scot seeking first Grand Slam title when he meets Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final in Melbourne.

    Murray lost the first set but capured the next three despite a late wobble against Spaniard Ferrer [GALLO/GETTY]

    Andy Murray is one match away from his first Grand Slam title after beating David Ferrer to set up an Australian Open final with Novak Djokovic.

    The fifth seed, runner-up in 2010, battled for 3hrs 46mins to beat the Spaniard, who had knocked out Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals, 4-6 7-6 6-1 7-6 on Friday.

    It is a third Grand Slam final for Murray, who lost to Roger Federer at the 2008 US Open final and in Melbourne last year.

    The seventh seed had started well, matching Murray from the baseline and playing his part in some engaging rallies, one of which lasted 40 shots.

    After the Scot broke to lead 4-3, Ferrer hit back to break twice on the bounce, winning the first set 6-4.

    Murray looked to have woken up at the start of the second, breaking the Spaniard, only to hand the initiative straight back.


    When serving to stay in the set, however, Ferrer engineered a set point, which was saved with a massive serve down the 'T'.

    "I actually thought it was 4-3 - just before the umpire called it 5-5," Murray said.

    "It happens occasionally. I was so focused and wrapped up - it probably helped me out and I hope it doesn't happen again."

    A tie-break ensued, and the Scot upped the style to race into a 6-0 lead, before winning it 7-2.

    Ferrer became erratic after losing the second set 6-1, and seemed to be fluffing his lines as he went 2-0 down in the fourth set.

    But after missing the chance to lead 3-0, Murray's form dipped yet again, and the Spanish number two took the opportunity.

    He broke back, and looked to be the more likely to secure the set.

    A second tie-break was reached, but once again, Murray blasted his opponent off the court, winning the breaker 7-2, and with it the match.

    It was an impressive turnaround for Murray, who had looked despondent, and at times petulant in the early stages of the match.

    But part of that was down to the dogged display of Ferrer, who seemed to take great confidence from his stunning three-set win over Nadal.

    But it's Murray who takes on Djokovic, who knocked Federer out in the semis, in the final on Sunday.

    The Serb leads their head-to-head 4-3, but Murray has won the last three times they've played.

    As for Djokovic, he took the trophy home from this tournament in 2008, and has twice been runner up at the US Open.

    It's a tight match to call, but on their semi-final performances, it should be the Serb who clinches victory.

    But as he demonstrated today, Murray won't go down without a fight.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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