Andy Murray overcame a tenacious David Ferrer in four sets to earn his place in the Australian Open men’s singles final. The final score was 4–6, 7(7)–6(2), 6–1, 7(7)–6(2).
Murray struggled for the first set-and-a-half before finding his stride. Once he did, Ferrer couldn’t match Murray’s powerful shot-making, despite being equally fleet of foot.
“Towards the end of the second set I started going for my shots a bit more,” Murray told ESPN. “I changed my racquet tension and I really felt like I could go for my shots more.
“I was missing a lot at net early; a lot of my balls were going in the middle of the net, and I didn’t feel like I was hitting them that badly so I changed my string tension, went for my shots a bit more played closer to the baseline and managed to come through.”
Murray, a native of Scotland, was tested physically by his Spanish opponent; both are noted for their mobility, and each ran the other around the court throughout the 3-hour, 45-minute match.
David Ferrer, ranked seventh, came out running hard and jumping on Murray’s second serves. Halfway through the set, the 30- and 40-shot rallies seemed to be draining Murray, who missed shot after shot. Ferrer broke serve in the eighth game and owned the rest of the set.
The second set started with an exchange of service breaks. Ferrer started playing more aggressively, earning a set point at 5–5, but Murray held on. The pair traded breaks again and took the set to a tiebreak.
Here Murray dominated, winning six straight points on the way to beating Ferrer 7–2.
After the match, Murray said that he hadn’t known that he was in danger of losing the match at 5–4.
“I thought the score was 4–3,” Murray told ESPN. “It wasn’t until the umpire called out the score at 5-all when I won the game that I realized that was down to set point. I ‘m sure I would have been a little bit more nervous, but I was still going to go for the big serve try to get the free point.”
The third set was easy by comparison, with Murray winning in only 42 minutes.
Ferrer came back in the fourth, determined to take the match to five sets. Ferrer took the set to a tie-breaker, and again Murray dominated, scoring six unanswered points before winning 7–2.
When No. 5-seeded Andy Murray faces No. 3-seeded Serbian Novak Djokovik in the finals on Sunday, Murray will be hoping to bring the United Kingdom its first grand slam Title in 75 years.
This will be Murray’s second consecutive Australian Open final; last year he lost to Roger Federer in straight sets.