Tomas Berdych broke his 17-match losing streak against Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals. The Czech raised his game to take the match in straight sets and upset the No 3 seed, thus becoming Andy Murray’s next opponent.
Berduch is the first opponent Murray has faced in this campaign against whom he has a negative head-to-head record (4-6). What could also work Berdych’s favour is that Murray’s former coach and hitting partner Dani Vallverdu is now coaching the Czech. Murray parted ways with his coach in November.
Both players have played an impressive tournament so far, cruising through the draw with Murray dropping just one set while Berdych none. Nevertheless, it is still Murray who remains the bookmakers’ favourite with his superior experience on the big stage, and previous Grand Slam titles.
The winner will meet either Novak Djokovic or Stan Wawrinka in the final on Sunday.
START: Thursday, Rod Laver Arena, 8.30 am GMT
2013 – Cincinnati (Hard) Berdych won 6-3, 6-4
2013 – Madrid (Clay) Berdych won 7-6, 6-4
2012 – London (Hard) Murray won 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
The two players are neighbours in the ATP tour rankings: Murray at sixth place and Berdych right behind him.
Berdych has never reached the final in Melbourne. His best appearance came last year when he reached the semi-finals.
Andy Murray had to play 12 games more than his opponent (157 compared to 145) en route to the semi-finals.
The Czech has the 13th biggest serve in the tournament, and has 13 more aces (63) than the Scot (50), to feature fifth in the aces ranking.
Murray to win 1.66
Berdych to win 2.20
TV: British Eurosport