The world number two was forced to scrap for almost every point but
finally subdued the indefatigable Spanish eighth seed after three
hours and 20 minutes of punishing baseline tennis on Rod Laver
With compatriot Johanna Konta having reached the last four in the
women's draw earlier on Wednesday, Britain has two representatives
in the semi-finals of a grand slam for the first time since 1977.
Murray's brother Jamie has also reached the last four of the men's
doubles with Brazilian Bruno Soares.
"Johanna Konta has done unbelievable," said the younger Murray.
"It's very exciting to have a British woman in the latter stages of
a slam, that's not happened for a long, long time.
"And I'm very proud of Jamie of course."
Murray will next face Milos Raonic or Gael Monfils as he bids to
reach a fifth Australian Open final.
The 28-year-old has lost on all four of his previous visits to the
Melbourne Park final but will certainly be battle-hardened for his
assault on the title this year.
"That was a pretty brutal match," he said. "It was pretty physical
and I held up pretty good I think."
If, as some believe, a resurgence of serve-volley is on its way in
the men's game, Ferrer is unlikely to be in the vanguard.
The 33-year-old Spaniard is difficult to wear down and he scuttled
along the back of the court firing returns from all angles.
Lapses of concentration cost him dear, however, and he was 40-0 up
in the fourth game of the contest when a string of unforced errors
allowed Murray to clinch the break that won him the set.
[to top of second column]
Ferrer evened up the contest after a thrilling tiebreak featuring
rallies of 27 and 31 shots that brought an end to an absorbing
71-minute second set.
Murray grabbed a break for 3-1 in the third and, with a storm
approaching, play was immediately suspended so the roof over the
court could be closed.
Ferrer's protested that there was no rain and was right to be
concerned as he was always chasing the match thereafter, his
groundstrokes losing some of their venom in the new conditions.
"I like playing indoors," said Murray. "I grew up in Scotland and
the weather is not as good as here so I grew up playing most of my
Murray grabbed another break for 4-2 in the fourth set and,
appropriately for such an intense match, it was errors from Ferrer's
racket rather than winners from the Scot's that gave him victory.
"It was a good match. It was a lot of rallies. It was tough," said
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Melbourne; editing by Amlan
Chakraborty and Pritha Sarkar)
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