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Murray battles past injured Raonic to advance to 5th Australian Open Final

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Britain's Andy Murray will hope to be fifth time lucky this Sunday when he takes on world no.1 Novak Djokovic in the final of the 2016 Australian Open, having been a runner-up 4 times already in his career, thrice to the Serb.

The world no.2 definitely had luck on his side tonight as he battled back from 2 sets to 1 down to beat a hobbling Milos Raonic as the Canadian gave his all to make his maiden Grand Slam final, and was winning while still near his best physically, unfortunately to go down rather tamely in the end as a right thigh injury left him struggling to compete.

Raonic broke Murray's serve in the opening game of the match, and that was enough for the 25 year old Canadian to take the first set 6-4. Raonic had stood toe to toe with Murray for the better part of the second set, but a poor 12th game cost him dearly as the Canadian dropped serve under pressure and with it lost the second set.

The third set was largely even with Raonic earning the only break point in it, but failing to convert. The Canadian's more powerful serve and greater consistency paid dividends as he took in a tiebreak 7-4.

At that stage it very much looked Raonic's match to lose, and the fourth set proceeded on serve till Raonic, leading 3-2, asked for a trainer to come out to treat what appeared to be a thigh strain. Raonic struggled with his movement thereafter, and lost his radar on his serve too.

After Murray held for 3-3, Raonic was broken for just the second time in the match, and though he saved a set point in his next service game, Murray was able to close out the set 6-4 and level the match at a set apiece.

The final set proved to be a no-contest as an increasingly injured Raonic struggled to compete and quickly fell behind 4-0. Though Raonic bravely hung in, it was only a matter of time before Murray closed out the match, winning it 6-2.

Murray sympathized with his opponent after the match, saying, “He definitely slowed down, which was unfortunate for him. It would have been nice to play a more competitive set. Obviously got a bit lucky with that.”

Murray will have his work cut out for him in the Final against Djokovic, having lost in 10 of his last 11 meetings with the Serb, who like Raonic is yet to lose a match this year.

Looking ahead to the Final, Murray said, “A lot of things are obviously important. You can’t afford to do anything poorly – Novak’s played extremely well. We’ve played a bunch of times here, and hopefully this time it will be a different result.”

Men's Singles Semi-final

[2] Andy Murray (SCO) d. [13] Milos Raonic (CAN) 46 75 67(4) 64 62