Murray outmuscles Federer to reach Melbourne final

Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:55am EST
 
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By Nick Mulvenney

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Andy Murray won a knock-down-drag-out thriller of a scrap with Roger Federer on Friday to set up an Australian Open final against Novak Djokovic and finally beat the Swiss for the first time at a grand slam.

Charged with confidence after claiming his first grand slam title at last year's U.S. Open and beating Federer in the Olympic final, Murray met the Swiss as a peer and prevailed 6-4 6-7 6-3 6-7 6-2 after four hours of top quality tennis.

The 25-year-old Briton blasted 21 aces and won the winner count 62-43 but it was only in the fifth set that he was able to pull away from the 17-times grand slam champion to reach his third Melbourne Park final.

Federer was never going to give up easily and twice came from a set down to level a sometimes fractious contest before the effort of playing back-to-back five set matches took its toll on his 31-year-old legs.

"It was a tough match (but) I thought I did a good job tonight," said Murray.

"I've obviously lost some tough matches against him in slams. So to win one, especially the way that it went was obviously nice."

Murray had never beaten Federer in their three previous meetings at grand slams and now has the chance to become the first man in the open era to back up his maiden major title at the first attempt.

To do that, though, he will have to beat double defending champion Djokovic, who crushed the Scot in the 2011 final and played one of the best matches of his career on Thursday to hammer David Ferrer and reach his third successive final.   Continued...

 
Andy Murray of Britain plays a shot to Roger Federer of Switzerland during their men's singles semi-final match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 25, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Kolbe/Pool