MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Andy Murray will get another chance to end a near 75-year winless streak for British men in Grand Slam singles tournaments after beating Spain's David Ferrer 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-1, 7-6 (2) Friday to reach the Australian Open final.
The semifinal win put Murray into Sunday's final against Novak Djokovic of Serbia, the 2008 champion who holds a 4-3 edge in head-to-head matches. However, Murray has won the last three.
Murray faced a set point in the second that would have had him trailing 2-0, but fought back to beat Ferrer for the third time in six career meetings.
"I think towards the end of the second set I started going for my shots more. I was missing a lot earlier," Murray said. "I changed my string tension and managed to come through. I changed my tactics ... played closer to the baseline, waiting for my shots a bit more."
Ferrer was disappointed by his missed opportunities.
"Andy, in important moments, serve better than me," Ferrer said. "So I can't do nothing more. I fight a lot. I tried my best game all the time, but Andy's a very, very great player."
No British male has won a Grand Slam singles title since Fred Perry in 1936 — more than 270 Grand Slam tournaments ago. The drought endured with Tim Henman and most recently Murray, who lost in straight sets to Roger Federer in the final last year.
Federer is gone from this tournament, beaten by Djokovic in the semifinals. Top-ranked Rafael Nadal, who was trying to win his fourth straight Grand Slam tournament, is also gone. He was hobbled by a thigh injury in his quarterfinal loss to Ferrer.
Kim Clijsters, who will play the final Saturday against Li Na of China, thinks that 2011 will "probably" be her last full year on the tennis tour.
When asked if the Australian Open women's final could be her last appearance at Melbourne Park, the 27-year-old Clijsters replied: "Yeah, it is."
The men's semifinal was filled with long rallies and plenty of booming forehands that just cleared the net. Murray mixed it up enough at times that his looping lob on break point at 4-1 in the third set went high over seventh-seeded Ferrer's head, allowing the Spaniard to only watch as the ball bounced meters inside the line.
"My body was feeling it a bit at the end," Murray said. "Both of us did a lot of running."