Andy Murray has finally broken his Roger Federer hoodoo at grand slams with a memorable five-set victory over the world number two in their semi-final on Friday night to advance to his third Australian Open final in four years.
Federer had won their three previous meetings in majors, all finals, but the reigning US Open champion finally got the monkey off his back at Rod Laver Arena with a hard-fought 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 victory that took exactly four hours to complete.
The Scotsman should have probably wrapped up the win in quicker fashion after leading 6-5, 30-15 in the fourth set when he was serving for the match.
But Federer demonstrated his considerable class to win the next three points, break Murray and force a tie-breaker which the 17-time grand slam champion won convincingly to ensure he would play consecutive five-setters at a grand slam for the first time ever following his testing duel with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the previous round.
However, rather than let the demons of previous major meetings with Federer creep into his psyche, Murray responded with the utmost maturity to easily win the fifth set and set up a tantalising rematch of last year's US Open final against Novak Djokovic in what promises to be another classic 2013 Australian Open decider on Sunday.
Ultimately, the contest between Murray and Federer was decided on serve and the former was supreme in that department as he won the break-point count (16-6), the ace count (21-5) and converted more break points (6-2) too.
The third seed also dined out on Federer's second serve as the Swiss maestro had a much more inferior winning percentage after faulting (42-63).
Murray hit more winners (62-43), committed fewer unforced errors (47-60) and easily won the point tally (177-151) and game tally (36-23), which perhaps illustrated there was more distance between the combatants than the final scoreline suggested.
The match began on Murray's terms and the world number three achieved the first break of the match in the third game to lead 2-1.
That break was ultimately the only one of the first set as seven consecutive holds of serve saw Murray take it 6-4.
The serving contest became a much more even affair in the second set, which was forced to a tie-breaker after 12 more holds of serve in a row.
Neither player could bring up a single break point prior to the tie-breaker and while Murray looked the more likely of getting the next break of the match, Federer would always hold firm and hang in there.
Murray won the first point of the tie-breaker on Federer's serve but the four-time Australian Open champion fought back to win the next four points, including two on the Briton's serve, which bucked the trend as more than half of Murray's second-set serves were unreturned.
Murray managed to level things up at 5-5 but made a crucial error on serve when he mistimed a smash that dollied up for Federer, who drilled a crosscourt backhand winner to go up 6-5 and the number two seed won the second set with the next point.
The Brit finally achieved that elusive break in the sixth game of the third set, ending a run of 24 consecutive holds of serve for the match and the third seed went on to wrap up the third set in style with his 16th ace.
After registering only one break point in the first three sets, Federer eventually ended the drought in the fourth game of the fourth set when he broke the world number three's serve for the first time in the match to take a 3-1 lead.
But Murray broke back three games later after Federer hit a regulation approach shot into the net, with most of the court at his mercy, to give the reigning US Open champion a 30-40 advantage before he won the game to trail 4-3.
After the Scotsman levelled the set 5-5, he then broke Federer to love in the 11th game of the set to lead 6-5.
Given Federer's virtual inability to crack the third seed's serve all night, the result appeared destined to go one way when Murray led 30-15.
But somehow Federer picked himself up off the canvas, and after sending a sensational one-handed backhander deep into the corner to bring up a break point against the run of play - which he converted - he forced another tie-breaker that he convincingly won 7-2 and sent the match into a decisive fifth set.
However, Murray wasn't about to let a sixth grand slam final pass him by and he emphatically stamped out Federer's resistance with a dominant final set to keep his bid for back-to-back major titles alive.