Australian Open Semifinals
Australian Open Men’s Singles Semifinal Friday Jan 30
1-Novak Djokovic beat 4-Stan Wawrinka 7-6(1) 3-6 6-4 4-6 6-0
Australian Open Men’s Singles Semifinal Thursday Jan 29
6-Andy Murray beat 7-Tomas Berdych 6-7(6) 6-0 6-3 7-5
Australian Open Women’s Singles Semifinals Thursday Jan 29
2-Maria Sharapova beat 10-Ekaterina Makarova 6-3 6-2
1-Serena Williams beat Madison Keys 7-6(5) 6-2
Djokovic Denies Wawrinka in Five Sets; Faces Murray for Australian Open Crown
atpworldtour.com: January 30 2015 Melbourne, Australia – Four-time champion Novak Djokovic is one match win away from clinching the Australian Open title for the fifth time. The World No. 1 advanced to this year's championship match after he defeated fourth seed and defending champion Stan Wawrinka 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 in three hours and 30 minutes on Friday night.
The Serb hit 27 winners to Wawrinka's 42, but the Swiss committed 69 unforced errors. Djokovic will play sixth seed and three-time runner-up Andy Murray in the final on Sunday. It will be his fifth title match at Melbourne Park and his 15th Grand Slam championship final overall.
It was Djokovic's 49th match win at the Australian Open and only Roger Federer (75-12) and Stefan Edberg (56-10) have more victories at the hard-court major in the Open Era. He is also now two match wins shy of 400 hard-court victories (398-82).
The 27 year old has now won nine straight matches against players in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings. His last loss to a member of the elite came against Roger Federer in the 2014 Shanghai Rolex Masters semi-finals. Djokovic and Wawrinka’s previous two meetings in Melbourne were five-set epics, but Wawrinka said there was no pressure going into the match to do that again this year.
Wawrinka came into the semi-final match carrying a 10-match win streak, having won the title at the Aircel Chennai Open leading up to his run in Melbourne. Next on his schedule will be the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.
Murray Reaches Fourth Melbourne Final; Defeats Berdych in Four Sets
atpworldtour.com: January 29 2015 Melbourne, Australia – Sixth seed Andy Murray advanced to his fourth Australian Open final as he fought back from a set down to beat seventh seed Tomas Berdych 6-7(6), 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 on Thursday night in Melbourne. The Scot is bidding to become the first man in the Open Era to win the Australian Open title after losing three finals. Murray finished runner-up at Melbourne Park in 2010.
Murray is attempting to win his third Grand Slam championship, having triumphed at the 2012 US Open and 2013 Wimbledon, both times beating Djokovic. The Dunblane native could face Djokovic in another Grand Slam final, should the Serb beat defending champion Stan Wawrinka in the second semi-final on Friday night.
The 27-year-old Murray is through to his eighth Grand Slam final and has a 2-5 record. Murray overturned a 4-6 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Berdych to advance in three hours and 16 minutes on Rod Laver Arena. Having lost their past two meetings, it was his first win over Berdych since the 2012 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Murray also beat Berdych in the 2012 US Open semi-finals, which took him to within one win of his historic triumph in New York.
Murray has dropped just two sets en route to the final in Melbourne, beating Grigor Dimitrov in four sets in the fourth round before ending Australian Nick Kyrgios’ run with a straight-sets victory in the quarter-finals.
Berdych had snapped a 17-match losing run against Rafael Nadal in a straight-sets quarter-final win over the Spaniard. His first-set victory over Murray marked his 16th successive set won in the tournament. It is the second year in a row that the Czech has fallen at the semi-final stage in Melbourne, having lost to Wawrinka last year.
Serena, Sharapova Set Showdown for Title
wtatennis.com: January 29 2015 Melbourne, Australia – Maria Sharapova came out strong and only got stronger as the match went on, storming past Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets in the first semifinal of the Australian Open.
The No.2-seeded Sharapova had won all five of their previous meetings and showed no mercy this time either, jumping out to early 3-0 and 4-1 leads and, after the No.10-seeded Makarova broke back and cut the lead to 4-3, Sharapova went on a run of six straight games to build a hefty 6-3, 4-0 lead. The two went into a holding pattern from there until Sharapova had the victory, 6-3, 6-2.
Sharapova is now in her 10th major final, going 5-4 in her first nine - the titles came at Wimbledon in 2004, the US Open in 2006, the Australian Open in 2008 and the French Open in 2012 and 2014. Only two other active players have reached 10 or more Grand Slam finals - the Williams sisters.
And it's the No.1-seeded Serena Williams who'll be waiting for Sharapova in this final, after she edged WTA Rising Star Madison Keys in the second semifinal of the day. Williams rebounded from a slow start and held her nerve through nine match points to close out WTA Rising Star Keys who was playing in the first Grand Slam semifinal of her career.
Keys looked unstoppable early on - she broke serve in the first game then held for 2-0 with a flurry of winners, eventually stretching that lead to 3-1 a few games later. Williams sprung into action from there, though, breaking back right away then clinching the opening set in a tie-break after 45 hard-fought minutes.
Williams kept her momentum going in the second set, storming out to a 5-1 lead, but the drama certainly wasn't over - serving in that game, Keys somehow found a second wind and played inspired tennis to fight off a whopping seven match points and eventually hold serve to close in to 5-2. Keys fought off an eighth match point in the next game but it was lucky No.9 for Williams, who served up a second serve ace on her ninth match point - her 13th ace of the match - to end it, 7-6(5), 6-2.