Murray wins thriller to reach final

Andy Murray, pictured, will face Novak Djokovic in Sunday's final (AP)

Andy Murray, pictured, will face Novak Djokovic in Sunday's final (AP)

First published in National Sport © by

Andy Murray became the first Briton to reach three Australian Open finals after ending his grand slam hoodoo against Roger Federer in a five-set thriller.

Murray had never beaten the Swiss at a major but was a deserved 6-4 6-7 (5/7) 6-3 6-7 (2/7) 6-2 winner as he moved into Sunday's title decider against Novak Djokovic.

The Scot missed the chance to serve out the match in the fourth set at 6-5, but responded superbly in the decider to set up a rematch with Djokovic, who he beat to win the US Open in September.

"It's always tough against Roger," Murray said. "I think the slams are where he plays his best tennis.

"When his back was against the wall at 6-5 he played some unbelievable tennis. He missed some shots at the start of the fifth and I just stuck in there."

As for the meeting with Djokovic, who thrashed David Ferrer in Thursday night's semi, he added: "I didn't see much of his game although I heard about it. I heard he played very well.

"I will have to play my best tennis to win it."

In a match of fine margins, it was the Murray serve which proved key, in particular his much-maligned second serve.

Too often in big matches it has been his Achilles heel but it was the difference in Melbourne. He won 63 per cent of points on his second delivery, compared to just 42 per cent for the Swiss.

It meant Federer was under pressure throughout and it finally told in the decider as Murray moved into his sixth grand slam final.

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