Federer lost to Murray in a 5 set epic match

It took Andy Murray over four years to be able to upend the great Roger Federer at a major, but he pulled it off in brilliant fashion, overcoming the Swiss 6-4 6-7(5) 6-3 6-7(2) 6-2 in exactly four hours to earn himself a meeting with top seed Novak Djokovic in Sunday night’s final.

In an extremely physical and complicated contest between two of the game’s smartest tacticians on a brisk Friday evening , Murray was able to emotionally regroup after he failed to serve the match out at 6-5 in the fourth set.

More fit than he was three years ago when Federer bested him in the Melbourne final and certainly mentally tougher after his standout 2012, when he won the Olympic gold medal as well as his first major at the US Open, Murray played an airtight fifth set, winning 16 of his 19 service points and pouncing on his foe’s serves during his return games.

He won the contest when a seemingly exhausted Federer – who has just come of a brutal five-set win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Wednesday night’s quarterfinal – flew a forehand long.

One of the world’s most accurate returners, Murray immediately began to get on Federer’s serve in the first set and broke him to 2-1 when he forced him into a forehand error. While Murray was in command of numerous baseline rallies as he played deep and with precision, Federer had trouble breaking down the Scot’s defensive wall, even with his ferocious forehand.

Murray won the first set when he crushed a forehand that Federer could only push back into the net.

Both men upped their levels in the second set and engaged in a number of long and intriguing rallies from inside the baseline. The Swiss tried to break down Murray’s weaker forehand side, while the Scot went at Federer’s backhand. They traded speeds and spins, charged forward on and off, and heartily defended with their backs against the wall.

However, the 25-year-old Murray still seemed to have slight edge in rallies until they went into the tiebreaker. Murray inexplicably blew three straight forehands to go down 1-3, but then he managed to claw back to 5-5. However, while approaching the net, Murray had to leap high in the air to hit a forehand volley and he bounced it short, which allowed Federer to paste a backhand crosscourt winner. He then committed a forehand error, and the Swiss grabbed the set.

Six months ago in the Wimbledon final, Murray had won the first set and was ahead in the second before Federer grabbed it 7-5 and then blitzed him the next two sets. But the Australian Open is not played on grass, and Murray is more secure on outdoor hard courts. Once again, he was the player consistently controlling the action.

He broke Federer to 3-2 and never looked back, winning the third set by stepping to his left and crushing a forehand down the line and then booming an ace.

But Federer hasn’t managed to win a record 17 Grand Slams for nothing, and with his back against the wall, the 31-year-old showed all of his champion’s mettle.

Murray won a very tense 10-minute game to tie the set 4-4, and he was clearly pumped up, bellowing at the top of his lungs.

At 5-5, he broke the Swiss to love with a forehand crosscourt winner and looked to be in the driver’s seat when, trying to serve the match out at 6-5, he hit a gorgeous forehand down the line and smiled in delight, appearing to believe that he was well on his way to victory.

Federer did not take kindly to the grin and his game rose in response. Down 15-30, he nailed an overhead at Murray’s body and then walloped a one-handed backhand down the line winner behind Murray that kissed the outside of the line to gain a break point. A shaky Murray then blew an easy forehand crosscourt, and a second tiebreaker was on.

Brimming with confidence, Federer flew through the breaker, nailing a series of winners and then watching Murray miss two returns he would normally handle.

But Murray is no longer the same player who broke down in tears after Federer beat him in straight sets in the 2010 Melbourne final, and he quickly broke Federer to 2-0 when the Swiss framed a backhand long. From that point on, Federer looked like he had lost a bit of speed off the ground, and he couldn’t touch Murray on his service games.

Serving at 2-5,15-30, the four-time Australian Open champion saw Murray blast a forehand return winner that he didn't even bother to chase down. He managed to fight off one match point with a serve winner, but then he missed an easy groundstroke to hand the Scot the match.

Date: 25th January 2013, Source: Australian Open


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