Thursday January 29th, 2015

MELBOURNE -- Catch up on all of the action from the Australian Open on Thursday that you may have missed while you were sleeping:

It's No. 1 Serena vs. No. 2 Maria in the women's final

Tennis
Serena defeats Keys, to play for AusOpen title against Sharapova

Neither woman dropped a set in their semifinal wins. Maria Sharapova dug in her heels early against Ekaterina Makarova and then steamrolled to a 6-3, 6-2 win. The win was Sharapova's sixth over Makarova and put her into her third Australian Open final. She's lost just one set in her six matches and has looked in great form. But can she solve her Serena problem?

Serena Williams held off the all-out assault off the racket of 19-year-old Madison Keys, winning 7-6 (5), 6-2. It was a strong performance from Keys, who forced Serena to play some of her best tennis to take the first set and seal the win after holding nine match points

Andy Murray returns to a Slam final for the first time since winning Wimbledon

"Tense" doesn't even capture the feeling on court on Thursday night as Murray came back from a set down to defeat No. 7 Tomas Berdych 6-7 (6), 6-0, 6-3, 7-5. Murray took exception to Berdych's constant attempts at a stare-down and after hearing some words from Berdych on the changeover after the first set, Murray complained to the umpire. That exchange fired him up and may have left Berdych rattled.

"I don't know what he said, but he said something literally as we were walking right past each other change of ends," Murray said. Berdych claimed he was just pumping himself up. "I just told the umpire that he said something to me and that was it."

The Brit responded by flying through the second set with a bagel and continued to play some of the best tennis since his 2013 back surgery to get the win in three hours and 26 minutes.

Tennis
Mailbag: Keys' potential, thoughts on towel rituals and more

Much was made of the showdown given the shift in coaching alliances of Murray's good friend Dani Vallverdu, but Murray downplayed that aspect of the match in favor of saluting the woman who has helped him regain his footing at the top of the game. 

"A lot of people criticized me working with her and I think so far this week we've shown that women can be very good coaches as well," Murray said. "Madison Keys, who reached the semis here and had her best tournament, is also coached by a woman in Lindsay Davenport. And I see no reason why that can't keep moving forward in the future. So I'm very thankful for Amelie for doing it. It was a brave choice for her to do it and hopefully I can repay her in a couple of days."

Photo of the day

Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Photo of the day: Handshake edition

Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Video of the day

Murray's post-match comments about the tension on court as well as his defense of hiring Amelie Mauresmo (with shout-outs to Madison Keys and Lindsay Davenport).

[tweet=https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen/status/560773165454876672]

Staredown of the day

Vine of the day

I guess we now know where Andy Murray gets his salty language from:

Quote of the day

"I think this week has definitely more shown to me, more than anyone else, that I can play the top players and I can do well against them. I can play the No. 1 player in the world in a pretty close match. So I think for me that's inspiration for every time I'm on a practice court to keep working, keep getting better so I can have more and more weeks like that."  -- Madison Keys

Celebration of the day

Tweets of the day

[tweet=https://twitter.com/FortyDeuceTwits/status/560699408413503488]

[tweet=https://twitter.com/serenawilliams/status/560713281875087361]

[tweet=https://twitter.com/TomPerrotta/status/560739938090512385]

[tweet=https://twitter.com/jon_wertheim/status/560735063042580480]

[tweet=https://twitter.com/Clijsterskim/status/560731263817224192]

[tweet=https://twitter.com/ReelQuinn/status/560735221319229440]

[tweet=https://twitter.com/annekeothavong/status/560760881814859776]

[tweet=https://twitter.com/HeatherWatson92/status/560732094453002242]

[tweet=https://twitter.com/andreapetkovic/status/560755301365063680]

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