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Friday, 25 January 2013

Andy Murray d. Roger Federer (Australian Open Semi-Final 2013)

Andy Murray walked onto the court today with the confidence of a grand slam champion and played lights out tennis to send the 4 time Australian Open champion, Roger Federer, home. From the very start of the match, Federer seemed to have a bad day at office with things not working his way, but all the credit to Murray who pushed Federer, anticipated well and came out on top at the end. 

Coming into the match, Federer had won 82% points behind his first serve but won only 73% in his semi-final match. He served at 61% and won only 42% points behind his second serve. Federer's serve which had been there in the first 4 rounds was not present there today.

Murray, on the other hand, did his part well, serving at 64%, and winning 75% points behind his first serve and backing it up with 63% points behind his second serve.

Where everything worked for Murray, nothing worked for Federer tonight, from his serve to his fore-hand, from his back-hand to his drop shot. Everything and every shot defied him. It was like Murray was playing Federisque tennis and Federer was playing Murrisque tennis.

Coming into today's match Murray had not won a match against Federer in 3 prior meetings, but it turned out to be 4th time lucky for Murray. Murray broke Federer to go up 2-1 in the first set and held the rest of the way to win the first set. The second set went all the way on serve till tie-break, where Federer showed his class and took the set in tie break to level the match at one set  a piece. Third set followed the pattern of the first set with Murray breaking Federer and holding his own serve till the very end.

Fourth set provided a lot of drama. Federer broke Murray to go up early, but Murray broke right away to bring the set back to serve. Serving at 5-all Murray broke Federer again to serve for the match, but nerves got the better of him as Federer broke him to force tie-break and once again the story of second set was repeated as Federer won the tie break to force a final set.

Murray started strong and broke Federer to go up 2-0 and held his serve to go up 3-0. Serving to stay in match at 2-5 Murray once again broke Federer to clinch the match and become the first man to make it to back to back grand slam finals after winning his first major. The final score being 6-4 6-7 6-3 6-7 6-2 in Murray's favour.

Murray hit 62 winners compared to Federer's 43, and hit only 47 unforced errors compared to Federer's 60. The winners-unforced errors differential says it all.

Federer goes home and will have time to think on things, while Murray moves on to face Djokovic in a U.S Open repeat final, won by Andy Murray. Andy Murray is closing on the gap between himself and Federer in the rankings and if he keeps the level going, Federer will soon be in trouble. However, on part of Federer it was great to see him stretch Murray to a fifth set, despite a bad day at office. All the credit to Murray for his master class performance.

To sum up the match, Murray did to Federer, what Federer used to do to Murray, giving him the taste of his own medicine.

P.S - I know all of you must be saying that this is biased report, I tried to keep neutral, but being a Federer fan, writing this report immediately after his loss is tough.

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