Andy Murray reaches fourth Miami Open final by beating Tomas Berdych

Andy Murray

Andy Murray beat Tomas Berdych in straight sets, 6-4 6-4, to reach the fourth Miami Open final of his career.

Victory levelled Murray’s head-to-head record against Berdych at 6-6 and secured a showdown for the title against either the world No1 Novak Djokovic or John Isner.

Djokovic beat Murray in the semi-final at Indian Wells last week and the British No1 admitted he would need to improve significantly to compete should they meet again on Sunday. Murray lost to Djokovic in the 2012 Miami final having beaten him in straight sets in 2009. The Scot also beat David Ferrer to win the title in 2013.

The first three games went against serve before Murray found his rhythm and began to dominate Berdych, ending the first set having hit 77% of his first serves and won 80% of those points.

A crushing return took him 0-30 up as Berdych served to begin the second set, and the Czech then dumped an easy volley into the net and double-faulted to gift Murray the break.

Berdych won a brilliant rally to get to 30-30 in Murray’s next service game and it was the Scot’s turn to double-fault at a key moment, setting up deuce. A sublime lob put Murray back on top but he was unable to close the game out as the players had traded breaks at the start of the set.

Again it became three in a row as some dominant returns from Murray took him 2-1 up and he was rarely troubled from there.

Murray told Sky Sports 3: “I did most things well, there’s not a lot I could complain about. My second serve was much better in the second set, I served well on the big points and got a lot of free points behind my serve.

“I dictated a lot of the points from the baseline and that’s important because when he’s inside the baseline and controls points, he’s a very powerful guy.”

Asked what he would have to do in a possible match against Djokovic, he began: “Play better than I did last week, that would be a good start. I know I need to play high-level tennis, he returns well so I need to get the balance right of being patient but dictating points when I get the opportunity.

“I’ll also be aggressive against the second serve, I’ll be inside the baseline attacking – that’s something I’ve done well this week and didn’t do at Indian Wells, so that’s something different. And just hopefully play a cleaner match. But I’ve played well this week, much better than I did at Indian Wells.”

Djokovic faces Isner in the other semi-final after beating David Ferrer 7-5, 7-5 in the last eight. “I wasn’t feeling the ball that great at the beginning, but I knew that I’m going to have my chances if I stayed committed, if I kept on working,” Djokovic – looking an unbreakable force this season – said.

“But I had to earn my points. I had to fight for everything that I got tonight on the court, because he wasn’t going to give it to me. I knew that coming onto the court. I knew that he’s a great competitor, that he grinds a lot, runs, and makes you play always an extra shot. That’s why he’s been top-10 player for so many years and he’s tough to beat.”

Serena Williams and Carla Suárez Navarro, the world No12, will contest the women’s final after they both came through their semis. Williams prevailed 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 over the world No3 Simona Halep, while Suárez Navarro beat Andrea Petkovic 6-3, 6-3.

Win or lose against Williams, Suárez Navarro is certain to become the third Spanish woman to enter the world’s top 10, following in the footsteps of the grand slam champions Arantxa Sánchez Vicario and Conchita Martínez.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Guardian sport, for The Guardian on Friday 3rd April 2015 20.14 Europe/London

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010