Andy Murray may have avoided a semi-final date with Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open but the Scot faces a formidable task in ousting Tomas Berdych.
Berdych defeated Nadal – a finalist in two of the last three years – in straight sets in the last eight and has yet to drop a set in Melbourne.
What’s more the Czech holds a 6-4 lead in the pair’s career head-to-head ledger.
However, Murray still looks a worthy 67/100 favourite to down his opponent at the penultimate hurdle thanks to a stellar recent semi-final record, both at the Aussie Open and in Grand Slam tennis in general.
The man from Dunblane has made at least the semi-finals of the year’s first Slam in four of the previous five seasons, progressing to the decider on all but one occasion.
For the 2010 and 2011 campaigns the Australian Open was the exception to a general rule of last-four eliminations in ‘big four’ events for Murray.
Across those two years his challenge bit the dust at the semi-final stage in four of the six he contested, including at least one in each of the other three majors.
However, since then the 2013 Wimbledon king has shown drastically improved resolve when it comes to converting Grand Slam last-four places into final berths.
Of the last five such ties he has disputed Murray has landed the odds on four occasions, going on to claim the championship on twice.
He’s 7/2 to add a first Australian Open to his resume.
Moreover, the Scot certainly has an advantage over Berdych when it comes to experience at the sharp end of the biggest tournaments in the game.
Murray will be taking to the court for his 13th Slam semi in Melbourne.
His opponent has reached just five by comparison, winning once.