Australian Open: Andy Murray tops Tomas Berdych in ill-tempered semifinal

    Story highlights

    • Andy Murray makes a fourth Australian Open final
    • He defeats Tomas Berdych in four sets in Melbourne
    • Murray will face either Novak Djokovic or Stan Wawrinka
    • Djokovic and Wawrinka face off in Friday's other semifinal

    (CNN)One daily newspaper in England asked who had the more dazzling engagement ring -- Andy Murray's fiancee or Tomas Berdych's future wife.

    Call it the Battle of the Bling.
      But when Murray and Berdych met Thursday for a spot in the final of the Australian Open, it was the Scot who was a cut above his Czech opponent.
      Murray reached a fourth final in Melbourne when he beat Berdych 6-7 (6) 6-0 6-3 7-5 in an ill-tempered affair, meaning he is on the verge of winning a third grand slam title and first since he ended Britain's nearly 80-year drought at Wimbledon in 2013.
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      Murray complained to chair umpire Pascal Maria about something Berdych said after the first set ended and Berdych didn't appear pleased at Murray's reaction when the 2010 Wimbledon finalist dropped his serve at 5-3 in the first.
      Television cameras also seemed to show Murray's fiancee, Kim Sears, mouthing an obscenity towards Berdych or his camp -- which included Dani Vallverdu, who used to coach Murray -- during the match.
      "When there's a lot of tension surrounding something, which you created, then it's completely normal that the whole first set everyone was tight," Murray told reporters, taking a swipe at the media. "My physical trainer, physio, I'm sure for Dani it was uncomfortable.
      "Even Tomas, who very rarely says anything on the court, there was tension there for him, as well. Yeah in the heat of the moment you can say stuff that you regret."
      It wouldn't be the first time a player's partner taunted an opponent -- and Roger Federer's wife, Mirka, seemed to do it to defending Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka at the World Tour Finals in November.
      Regardless, Berdych downplayed talk of bad blood between him and Murray. He said he was simply trying to pump himself up after winning the first set.
      "I say to myself, 'Well done, Tomas.' That's it," Berdych told reporters. "I think I'm allowed to do that when I win a set.
      "I pumped myself up ... and that's it, then sit on the chair. I'm not really looking left or right what's going on. I just keep focusing myself and that's it.
      "There is no really big deal about anything what was happening today on the court. I mean, it was a great battle. It was a good match. Unfortunately with a bad end for me."
      Berdych upset 14-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals and he picked up where he left off in the semifinals, using his effortless power to break for 5-3.
      But after he was broken straight back, things swung in Murray's favor despite Berdych claiming the roughly 80-minute first set.
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      Berdych's intensity dropped and so did his first-serve percentage. Murray, meanwhile, upped his game, stepping up the attack from the baseline and playing his sublime defense when needed.
      He pointed to his own camp, which featured coach Amelie Mauresmo, when the match ended.
      "I got asked all the time about my ex-coach working with Tomas and no one was interested in anything I was doing with Amelie or the way I was playing or anything," Murray said.
      Murray can now sit back and watch Friday's other semifinal between top-seed Novak Djokovic and Wawrinka.
      Djokovic is attempting to win a fifth Australian Open title. He downed Murray in the 2011 and 2013 finals.