Andy Murray beat Tomas Berdych in two sets, 6-4 6-4, to reach the Miami Open final.
Victory levelled Murray’s head-to-head record against Berdych at 6-6 and clinched a showdown for the title against either world No 1 Novak Djokovic or John Isner, who were playing late last night.
The first three games went against the serve before Murray found his rhythm and began to dominate Berdych, ending the first set having hit 77 per cent of his first serves and won 80 per cent of those points.
A crushing return took him 30-0 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 and again, the players had traded breaks at the start of the set.
And 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 said: “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.”
Today sees Serena Williams and Carla Suarez Navarro contest the women’s final.
Fresh from her 700th career success on Wednesday, world No 1 Williams saw off Indian Wells champion Simona Halep 6-2 4-6 7-5, to book her place in today’s showpiece.
Navarro made fairly light work in her semi-final of Andrea Petkovic, who was seeded three places higher in ninth, and eased to a 6-3 6-3 victory.
“I feel so happy. It’s so important for me,” said Navarro.
“I was practicing and working all year with my team for a moment like this and I’m determined to enjoy it.”