Andy Murray did it the hard way against Canadian Milos Raonic but eventually ground out a five-set victory over the world number 13, winning 4-6 7-5 6-7(4) 6-4 6-2 to set up a final on Sunday with Novak Djokovic.
It looked for a while after Raonic took the third set in a tiebreak that the Brit was heading out of the competition, but eventually Murray’s physical prowess took control and he was able to use his incredible stamina to his advantage, while Raonic took one Medical Time Out and twice had the trainer on court for various ailments chalked up to general fatigue.
Murray will now head into his fifth Australian Open Final, and will play that man Novak Djokovic to attempt to secure a long awaited Slam title Down Under.
The Scot was broken early in the first set and was unable to touch Raonic’s serve, with the Canadian looking solid and holding serve consistently well to take the first set. The second looked to be heading towards a tiebreak until Murray broke during a crucial game at 5-5, and was able to serve out the set and level the match.
Both players had break point opportunities in the third set but ultimately it went to an inevitable tiebreak. Raonic dominated his first serve and needed just the solitary mini-break to secure a 7-4 victory and edge ahead in the match.
The fourth set also looked very even, despite Raonic having the trainer on court a couple of times, but again Murray put the pressure on the Canadian at just the right moments and broke late in the set to levels things up at 2 sets apiece.
From then on it was one-way traffic, with Murray winning 20 of the first 25 points in the decider to go 4-0 up. It almost looked like Murray would finish thing with a bagel, having further break point opportunities on the Raonic serve, but the Canadian preserved his dignity by holding serve twice and making Murray serve it out at 5-2. The Brit didn’t need another invitation, and finished things off with aplomb and much relief from the other side of this keyboard.
Murray’s head-to-head against Djokovic doesn’t look great, with the Serb having won 21 out of 30, but Djokovic has looked vulnerable, especially against Simon, and Murray will be hoping it’s the Djokovic that played the Frenchman that will show up on Sunday, rather than the one we saw be so incredible against Federer in the semi-final.