Melbourne - Andy Murray twice fought back from a set down to win a gruelling
five-setter against injury-hampered Milos Raonic on Friday and reach his
latest Australian Open final against five-time champion Novak Djokovic.
four-time runner-up reached his fifth final at Melbourne Park after
overcoming the gallant Canadian 4-6, 7-5, 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-2 in four
hours, three minutes on Rod Laver Arena.
Djokovic has already
beaten Murray in three Australian Open finals and the world number one
will get the advantage of an extra day's rest after he knocked out Roger
Federer in four sets in Thursday's semi-final.
It will be
Murray's ninth Grand Slam final as the Briton, up against the dominant
Serb once again, chases an elusive third major title after winning the
US Open in 2012 and Wimbledon in 2013.
"It was tough because he
(Raonic) didn't miss one first serve in the (third set) tiebreaker and
he has one of the best serves in tennis," Murray said.
"I started to get a better read on his serves as the match went on as I was making a few more returns, that was the key."
will also be the first time two brothers have played the singles and
doubles finals at the same Grand Slam after Jamie Murray reached the
men's doubles final with his Brazilian partner Bruno Soares.
Murray's win over Raonic was the 28-year-old Scot's fourth win in seven
encounters with the much-improved Canadian, who slowed in the final set
and completed the match grimacing from a right groin injury.
something I've learned over the years of playing. When I'm playing a
match, I'm not thinking about what he was going through," Murray said of
"I'm just trying to use what he's giving me on the court and try to make adjustments to my game if needs be.
"Obviously if the injury affected him significantly at the end, then that's tough, especially at this stage of an event."
broke Raonic's big serve four times, twice in the fifth set, and hit 38
winners, while Raonic served up 23 aces among his 72 winners, but made
78 unforced errors.
Raonic, who beat former winner Stan Wawrinka
and Gael Monfils to reach his second major semi-final, was bidding to
become the first Canadian man to reach a Grand Slam title match.
who has gained composure and purpose under the coaching of Carlos Moya,
began confidently, breaking Murray to love in the opening game of the
match, and he went on to take the first set in 36 minutes.
Canadian was jamming up Murray with his serving to his body, but the
world number two finally broke his serve in the 12th game of the second
set to level the semi-final 7-5.
In the third, Raonic comfortably
held his serve and had break point on Murray's service in the 11th game,
only for the Scot to hold on.
But the Canadian played a strong
tiebreak, hitting two return winners and he brought up two set points
which he clinched with an ace to take a 2-1 sets lead in a tense match.
Raonic left the court for treatment for a right groin injury at 1-2 in the fourth set.
broke the Canadian for the second time in the match in the seventh
game, with Raonic wincing in pain. He sought treatment from the trainer
again at another changeover.
The fired-up Scot fought off two
break points and then locked up the match on his second set point to
take the semi-final into a fifth set.
Raonic was broken in the
opening game of the final set and he slammed his racquet twice into the
court at the changeover, breaking the frame, as his frustrations boiled
Wounded Raonic bravely resisted but Murray broke a second
time to steam home against the under-powered Canadian and set up a fifth
attempt to win the Australian title.