ibnlive » Tennis

Jan 28, 2010 at 09:44pm IST

Murray advances into Australian Open final

Melbourne: Andy Murray of Britain made it to his second Grand Slam singles final after beating Marin Cilic of Croatia in their men's singles semifinal match at the Australian Open on Thursday.

Murray lost the first set 3-6 but took the next three 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.

Murray will take on the winner of Friday night's semifinal between three-time Australian Open winner Roger Federer and 2008 finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

HIP HIP MURRAY: Andy Murray beat Marin Cilic 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in the semifinal.

Murray expects Federer to be across the net from him on Sunday night at Rod Laver Arena.

"Tsonga's played a lot of sets, he's going to be a little bit tired like Cilic was, but you never know with him, he's a great player," Murray said. "Still, I expect Federer to come through."

If Federer wins it will mean a rematch of the 2008 U.S. Open where the Swiss star beat Murray in straight sets. That was the 22-year-old Scot's only trip to a Grand Slam singles final, where his loss continued a stretch of no British man winning a major since 1936.

Murray will be hoping to achieve what no British man has done in more than 70 years — win a Grand Slam singles title.

The last British man to win at the Australian Open was Fred Perry in 1934. Perry won Wimbledon in 1936, the last British man to win there, a drought that has worn heavily on the psyche of players such as Murray, Tim Henman and others before them.

Murray is the first British man to reach the Australia final since John Lloyd in 1977 and the first to reach two Grand Slam finals in the Open era.

Murray used to joke several years ago that when he lost, the domestic press referred to him as Scottish, but when he won he was British. He could make everybody happy in the United Kingdom if he breaks the drought on Sunday.

"I started going for my shots a little bit more, he was playing right close to the baseline," Murray said. Cilic "played three five-set matches and made it so tough for me and fought until the end.

"I'm really look forward to the final now, I'm feeling good."

At the end of the match, a man dressed in a Croatia football jersey walked on to the court and was reported to have shaken Cilic's hand before being removed by security. It was the first on-court security breach at the tournament.