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 Murray thrilled to survive semi

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PostSubject: Murray thrilled to survive semi   Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:43 am

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Andy Murray was relieved and delighted to come through a four-set battle with David Ferrer and reach a second successive Australian Open final.

The fifth seed trailed by a set and 5-4 before ripping into the Spaniard to set up Sunday's final with Novak Djokovic.

"It was tough. It was up and down but I changed my tactics well," said Murray.

And on facing close friend and rival Djokovic, Murray added: "There won't be any secrets with our games but it's going to be a brutal match."

The 23-year-old Briton was struggling badly at the start of his semi-final clash with Ferrer, having lost out in a nervy first set and was then a point away from trailing by two sets.

But Murray's serve finally started to click and after levelling the match on the tie-break, the errors began to mount for his opponent.

Having been demolished in the third set, Ferrer, eyeing his first Grand Slam final, found a second wind but a more aggressive Murray hit back to eventually wrap up a hard-earned victory in three hours and 45 minutes following another tie-break.

"I just started playing closer to the baseline, taking his time away a little bit," added Murray who is looking to become the first British man to win a Grand Slam in nearly 75 years.

"I started slicing more and changing the pattern of the points. We were playing a lot of cross-court backhand rallies in the first set and he wasn't missing a ball.

"I just went for my shots a bit more, came to the net more and I finished a lot of points off at the net."

The semi-final triumph means Murray will face Djokovic, the world number three and a player brimming in confidence following Thursday's victory against the reigning champion and 16-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer.

Djokovic, champion in Melbourne in 2008, leads 4-3 in the head-to-head matches with Murray triumphant in the last three, but it is their first encounter in a major tournament.

"Because of our seedings, we've always been on different halves of the draw in every tournament," said Murray, who last played Djokovic in Miami in 2009.

"We practice a lot together, we get on well together. We're good friends. So in terms of a rivalry, I think this will be the start. I hope it's the start of us playing each other in big matches."

With a three-set defeat by Federer in the 2010 final still fresh in the memory, Murray feels he is better equipped to deal with the pressures of a Grand Slam final.

"It was tough, but I think overall it would have made me a better player, stronger mentally," he added.

"They're all experiences that you need to deal with playing at the highest level of sport. You lose some tough matches and I hope that will help me on Sunday."
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