Australian Open: Murray beats Raonic in five sets, up against Djokovic in final
Andy Murray has reached the Australian Open final for the fifth time in seven years with a hard-fought five-set victory over Milos Raonic in Melbourne.
The British number one was behind for much of the match after losing the first and third sets, but battled back and eventually won comfortably in the deciding fifth set as 13th-seed Raonic fell away.
Canadian Raonic, who was seeking a first Grand Slam final appearance, started superbly on Rod Laver Arena, breaking Murray to love in the opening game before saving three break points of his own to consolidate the advantage.
The rest of the opener was fairly comfortable for Raonic as his big serve helped keep Murray at bay and he took the set 6-4 in a little over half an hour. Murray threatened a break twice in the early stages of the second set, but Raonic held his nerve and it seemed that a tie-break would be needed when Murray moved into a 6-5 lead.
However, the world number two earned himself a third break point in the set and this time he took his chance to level the match at one set all.
The third set was dominated by serve and Murray afforded the only break point, which he saved in the 11th game. In the tie-break, Raonic made two early mini-breaks and it was an advantage he would not give up as he came through 7-4 to move back in front.
Despite retaking the lead, Raonic gradually lost his grip on the match as the fourth set wore on and Murray broke to love in the seventh game.
Raonic threatened a break back when Murray served for the set at 5-4, but the Scot grittily saved two break points before levelling the match once more.
Raonic needed treatment for an injury as the contest entered a deciding fifth set and the Canadian never looked like challenging after being ground down. Murray made more and more returns and raced out to a 4-0 lead, eventually serving it out 6-2 in just over four hours.
Murray has lost in all four of his previous final appearances in Melbourne and the last three have all been against Novak Djokovic, who he will again face on Sunday after the Serb saw off Roger Federer yesterday.