Andy Murray fought off a resilient Tomas Berdych to reach his first grand slam final for 18 months at the Australian Open after a four-set win in Melbourne.
Berdych took the opening set on a tie-break before Murray, 27, took the next three sets to prevail 6-7 (6-8) 6-0 6-3 7-5 and reach an eighth career major final.
World number one Novak Djokovic or defending champion Stanislas Wawrinka await in the final on Sunday 1 February, Murray's first undergoing back surgery in September 2013 and winning Wimbledon.
"I was disappointed to lose the set and I had break points and had a set point so in was disappointed," said Murray. "I played better as the set went on and I was very aggressive at the start of the second set.
"I would say I changed tactics a little and I was becoming more comfortable with the conditions and the way Tomas was hitting the ball I tried to player super aggressive in the third set.
"I knew when I was dictating the point and getting the first strike in I was winning those points. There was some extra tension and it was a big match and a lot was made of Dani working with him which was a bit unnecessary."
Dani Vallverdu's role
The build-up to the match has been dominated by the significance of Dani Vallverdu's role in Berdych's camp just two months after splitting with Murray and that influence appeared to have some legs in the early exchanges as the Czech dictated play.
Murray was forced back beyond the baseline and as his first serve faulted, Berdych took advantage with a 5-3 lead, with a seemingly crucial break of serve in the eighth game.
But the Brit surged back to level the first set with two straight games as he added greater depth to his ground strokes but two chances to grab a second break came and went, the first via a wide cross-court forehand.
The inevitable tie-break at the end of the first set saw Murray blink first, missing a set point before three points on the bounce gave Berdych the all-important lead after a gruelling 77-minute first set.
Producing a reaction fitting of a player with multi-grand slam titles to his name, Murray rattled off the first five games of the second set with ease as he upped his intensity and abandoned the cautions approach that had hamstrung him for much of the opening exchanges.
And the triple break followed as in just 29 minutes, Murray turned the match around and set-up a three-set shoot-out to take the first berth in Sunday's final as Berdych dropped his first set of the tournament.
A low-key start to the third set was on serve until Murray pulled a rabbit out of the hat, breaking Berdych from 0-40 down to grab the initiative as the match sunk into a third hour and two subsequent solid holds saw the match swing the Scot's way.
Berdych produced a typically dogged response to going two sets to one down and, standing on the brink of elimination, he returned to his solid service game, while Murray was forced on to the back foot on his own serve.
The 2013 Wimbledon champion saved a break point with a delightful drop shot early in the set before getting out of trouble in the sixth game with another hold as Berdych sensed his opportunity to grab a foothold.
A double fault in game 11 saw Berdych face two break points and a long backhand handed Murray the critical break and one he would cement with a love service game to book his place in an eighth career major final and fourth Down Under.