MELBOURNE - Andy Murray charged into the Australian Open final yesterday, giving fresh hope to Britain that the country's long wait for another men's Grand Slam champion may bear fruit.
Murray will meet the winner of today's second semifinal between world No 1 Roger Federer and 2008 finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France.
It will be the second Grand Slam final for the 22-year-old Murray, who was beaten by Federer in the 2008 US Open final.
It has been 74 years since a British man last won a Grand Slam singles title but the jokes about long trousers and wooden rackets could soon be over after Murray booked a place in Sunday's final by beating Croatian Marin Cilic 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.
Murray provided a brilliant exhibition of shot-making.
"This is the best I've played at a Slam," said Murray. "I want to win it, obviously for the people that I work with, for my parents... then doing it for British tennis and British sport would be excellent."
Serena Williams and Justine Henin blasted their way into tomorrow's women's final by killing off China's hopes of a first Grand Slam finalist.
Williams used all her power and big-match experience to beat Li Na 7-6, 7-6 in an absorbing centre-court contest to remain on track to successfully defend the title she won for the fourth time last year.
"I am happy I was able to pull it out, it was really close," Williams said.
Henin, in only her second tournament since coming out of retirement, demolished Zheng Jie 6-1, 6-0 to continue her fairytale comeback to the sport she once dominated.
The Belgian, who is improving with every match, was at her ruthless best against Zheng, wrapping up a one-sided win in 51 minutes. - Reuters