On the 29th of January 2015 Andy Murray and Tomáš Berdych locked horns for a place in the Australian Open Final.
It was a semi-final that felt like it had more on the line than the match itself. Murray’s ex-coach Dani Vallverdu had just moved to work with Berdych with the Brit now then working with Amelie Mauresmo.
As opening sets of tennis went it was one of the most intense I have ever seen, after the match Murray did say that:
“There was a little bit of extra tension – it was a big match. A lot was made about Dani Vallverdu, my former coach, working with Tomas.”
“But we’ve been friends since we were 15 years old and I felt that the focus was unfair and unnecessary.”
“This is sport – and there’s more to life than sport. It created a bit of extra tension but everyone calmed down after start of the match.”
In the build-up and during the first set there was an added spice, Tomas was taking the initiative and created two big break points following a beautiful backhand down the line, it was the backhand cross-court that forced an error for the Czech to take a 5-3 lead and serve for the set.
Murray forced the forehand error from Tomas to get back on serve and celebrated as if he won the set as did Kim in the crowd some expletive language which led to that famous t-shirt…
Murray nearly did win the set up set point at 6-5 in the tie-break but it was the first of three consecutive points for Tomas which sealed the set, 7-6 (8-6).
A clench of the fist and a stare down as they crossed at the net, Berdych was locked in and the two had words as the Czech muttered to himself “Good play Tomas” as he passed Andy.
None of this bothered Andy as he went onto dominate the second set 6-0 and then the third 6-3 before winning the fourth 7-5 to progress to another Australian Open Final where wife Kim sported this famous t-shirt…