Murray ousts Federer to reach Aussie final
MELBOURNE, Australia—Andy Murray finally has beaten Roger Federer at a Grand Slam.
The U.S. Open champ beat 17-time major winner Federer 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-2 earlier toay at the Australian Open, calling it massive confidence boost as he attempts to win his second-consecutive major.
Djokovic was rarely troubled while beating David Ferrer in straight sets in just under 90 minutes on Thursday night—two-and-a-half hours less than today’s semi-final.
There was some controversy in that 12th game of the fourth set when Federer appeared to glare and say something to Murray when the Scotsman stopped momentarily behind the baseline during the rally.
Murray ignored it after winning that point, but conceded serve in that game and lost the ensuing tie-breaker before regrouping in the fifth set.
While Murray came into the match with a 10-9 career advantage, he had never beaten Federer in their three previous meetings at majors—finals at the 2008 U.S. Open, 2010 Australian Open, and last year at Wimbledon.
“It’s always tough against him, when he plays in Slams is when he plays his best tennis,” Murray noted.
“When his back was against the wall at 6-5 and I was serving, he came up with some unbelievable shots.
“I just had to keep fighting,” he added.
Federer outplayed Murray at stages of the match, but the 25-year-old Scotsman appeared to have the legs and stamina to give him the advantage over the 31-year-old Federer in the fifth set, including a service break to clinch the tense match.
“It’s big. I never beat Roger in a Slam before. It definitely will help with the confidence,” Murray remarked.
“Just knowing you can win against those guys in big matches definitely helps.”
Tomorrow, defending women’s champ Victoria Azarenka plays sixth-seeded Li Na of China for the women’s singles title.
Li lost the Australian Open final to Kim Clijsters in 2011 two months before winning her first and only Grand Slam at the French Open.
“Last time was more exciting, [more] nervous, because it was my first time to be in a final,” Li said today.
“But I think this time [I’m] more calmed down, more cool.”
Azarenka leads 5-4 in career matches, including the last four times they’ve played.
“I’m really hungry to defend my title,” said Azarenka, who needs to beat Li to retain her No. 1 ranking.
“I’ve put myself in the position to give it the best shot.”