Following Novak Djokovic's second round defeat on Thursday, hopes were high for Murray to win his first Melbourne title in his sixth final, but 2017 will not be the year in which he breaks his Aussie duck.
Zverev piled forward into the net to serve and volley an astonishing number of times - 119 occasions in all.
This unrelenting pressure on the world number one saw the German recover breaks in the first set and snatch it himself, 7-5.
Murray levelled the match by winning the second set, also 7-5, having again been up by and conceding breaks on two occasions.
Following six-time champion Novak Djokovic's shock defeat to Denis Istomin, Murray is now the clear favourite to finally win the title after five runner-up finishes. But he has plenty of tough challenges in his half of the draw first.
There were some concerns about Murray's ankle going into the contest, but it seemed to hold up well. Murray's form was impressive, his counterpunching and defensive skills able to counter the hard hitting of his opponent.
The stats back up his good form - a healthy 40 winners against 22 unforced errors, and success at the net with 23 out of 27 points won.
The 19-year-old Russian, part of the vanguard of future stars that includes Alex Zverev, Karen Khachanov and Daniil Medvedev, was given a harsh lesson on Rod Laver Arena in the physicality of tennis at the sharp end.
The Russians are coming – just not yet. And on this performance, the youngster might want to consider sticking to his back-up career as singer in boyband Summer Afternoon.
Murray has admitted he knew little about Rublev’s game, but that didn’t stop him breaking for 4-2 with an unremitting barrage of deep groundshots mixed with astute a...
In the heat of the Melbourne afternoon, a net cord in the very first game forced a Murray forehand long when facing break point. However, he broke back to love immediately and then broke again at 2-1 up to move into the driving seat.
Marchenko was going for his shots and not always finding the mark, but with Murray serving for the first set at 5-3 the Ukrainian suddenly made some line-flirting attempts that hit home to get back in the contest.
Murray had generally set up shop some way behind the baseline and was allowing Ma...
Murray has never beaten Djokovic after losing the first set, and soon found himself in trouble in the eighth game of the match. A sequence of inexplicable unforced errors handed Djokovic a break, and the Serb held the advantge to take the set.
Djokovic broke early in the second set before serving for the match at 5-4. Murray fended off three match points before finally breaking back. A stupendous service hold followed, before Djokovic lost the plot. The Serb - already down a warning for an earlier infraction - smashed his racquet, earning a second warning and a penalty point.
Berdych, now under the coaching wing of Goran Ivanisevic, began the match with a flurry of ill-advised drop shots. The Czech came up short in other areas, too, with a low first-serve strike rate contributing to a break at 1-2.
Largely playing possum to Berdych’s low-percentage power game, the world number one held on to clinch the first set and his 16th in succession against the big Czech.
The second set offered more of the same, despite Berdych winning more points on Murray’s serve in the second game than he did in the who...
Andy Murray: the Man in the Arena