Murray grinds past Ferrer into Oz Open final

Last Updated: Jan 28, 2011, 19:29 PM IST

Melbourne: Andy Murray ground down David Ferrer 4-6, 7-6, 6-1, 7-6 on Friday to reach his second consecutive Australian Open final, raising British hopes of ending a 75-year drought for a men`s singles grand slam champion.

Murray, runner-up to Roger Federer last year, was rocked by the seventh-seeded Spaniard`s relentless baseline play as he lost the opening set on a chilly night at Rod Laver Arena.

Ferrer had a point to move two sets clear before Murray levelled the match with a dominant tiebreak and Murray mowed through the third set as his opponent lost his rhythm.

Murray appeared to be coasting at 2-0 in the third but the moody Scotsman wobbled in the decider to allow Ferrer to break back and rally to a tiebreak.

Pumping himself up in an electric atmosphere, fifth-seeded Murray ratcheted up the pressure with some brilliant serving to bring up five match points, before sealing it 7-2 with a deft half-volley.

Murray will play Serbia`s Novak Djokovic for the title on Sunday as he bids to become Britain`s first men`s champion at a grand slam since Fred Perry in 1936.

Bureau Report