Stanislas Wawrinka beat Tomas Berdych to reach his first Grand Slam final and raise the prospect of an all-Swiss title decider at the Australian Open.

The 28-year-old, seeded seventh, defeated the Czech eighth seed 6-3 6-7 (1-7) 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-4).

After breaking new ground by reaching last year's US Open semi-finals, Wawrinka is into his first major final.

And he could face compatriot Roger Federer, who takes on Rafael Nadal in Friday's second semi-final.

Wawrinka backed up his five-set win over defending champion Novak Djokovic with another high-class performance that tested his once suspect nerve.

As expected in a match between players next to each other in the rankings, a desperately tight contest turned on a few key points.

Berdych faltered first, smashing a towering lob into the tramlines on the first break point of the match and dropping the set in the following game.

It was to be the only service break of the match, which saw both men neck and neck in all the key statistics as the match unfolded over the next three hours.

Berdych saved a break point in the second set before going on to dominate the tie-break, and seemed to have the momentum at times in the third set but could not convert his first break point at 4-4.

Another tie-break was required and this time it was the Swiss who took charge after crucial double-faults from Berdych at 3-2 and on set point, leaving the Czech player's team – decked out in blue and white stripes, like their man – looking forlorn.

His serve had impressed for two-and-half hours but Berdych looked vulnerable early in the fourth set, narrowly escaping a break point after three double-faults in the opening game.

It came down to the shootout of a third tie-break and, with much of the Rod Laver Arena crowd behind him – and a few shouts of "Come on Aussie Stan!" – Wawrinka stepped up a gear.

After moving to two match points, the Swiss double-faulted on the first but saw Berdych fire long over the baseline on the second to confirm his place in a first Grand Slam final in 36 attempts.

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