Andy Murray hopes experience will be key

Andy Murray is hoping his experience of regularly going far in grand slams will help him edge past David Ferrer and into the Australian Open final tomorrow.

Murray will be playing in his fifth semi-final at a major compared to Ferrer's two and the Scot admits he is starting to become accustomed to competing at this stage and the pressure which goes with it.

He said: "I just feel more experienced. I know how to deal with playing deep into grand slams now, how to get prepared for them mentally and physically, it's something I am much better at.

"But it's always tough when you come up against these guys. You need to be on your game physically and mentally if you want to beat them so it's going to be a tough match.

"There are some great players left so it's exciting to be a part of it and I just hope I can come through."

Murray would not have been expecting to face seventh seed Ferrer but the Spaniard took full advantage of Rafael Nadal suffering a hamstring injury early in their last-eight clash to advance.

Nadal, who saw his hopes of becoming the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four grand slam titles simultaneously end in heartbreaking fashion, believes Murray is favourite to advance to a meeting with Novak Djokovic - who beat Roger Federer in their semi today - but refused to rule out compatriot Ferrer.

The world number one said: "David is playing fantastic tennis but he is not the favourite.

"But if he can keep playing like this, hopefully he can have a good chance to be in the final or win the tournament.

"I would love that, he is a fantastic person and a close friend of mine.

"I think Andy is playing well too."

Ferrer has the better head-to-head record having won three of their previous five meetings but their most recent clash saw Murray lose just four games in a resounding victory at the ATP World Tour finals.

"Every match is different," said Ferrer. "But I know all about Andy. It will be a difficult match because Andy is a top player.

"But I am confident and will try to do my best. But I need to play consistently, and be very focused all match."

And while Murray talked up his greater experience of these occasions, Ferrer was quick to play it down, adding: "I have been playing for many years at the grand slams and on the ATP Tour.

"Of course he has more experience than me but I am 28 and have played a lot of matches."

Ferrer is certainly in great form and is yet to lose in 2011 after winning the warm-up event in Auckland before heading to Melbourne.

"It is unbelieveable, to have won all my matches this year," he said.

"I am very happy with my game and I am very confident. It is a good time in my life."

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