Federer downs Murray, Nadal looms

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iol spt jan22 Federer Reuters Roger Federer beat Andy Murray to set up an Australian Open semi-final showdown with world number one Rafael Nadal. Photo by: Petar Kujundzic

Melbourne – Record Grand Slam champion Roger Federer set up an Australian Open semi-final with Rafael Nadal after beating Andy Murray in the last eight.

The Swiss sixth seed downed the Wimbledon champion 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (6/8), 6-3 in three hours 20 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

Federer largely dominated the match and had two match points in a third-set tiebreaker, only for Murray to fight back and take the quarter-final into a fourth set.

Murray fought off six break points in a titanic 19-minute service game in the fourth set, but was broken in the eighth game when Federer volleyed into an empty court.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion then served out for the match, winning it on his third overall match point to set up a keenly awaited date with his great rival Nadal on Friday.

Following his victory, Federer trails Murray 11-10 head-to-head the Swiss legend is into his 11th consecutive semi-final at Melbourne Park.

It was the first time that Murray has lost in five quarter-finals at the Australian Open.

Federer, who is working with Swedish six-time major-winner Stefan Edberg, looked mainly in confident touch and hit 54 winners with 42 unforced errors, along with four service breaks.

“I thought Andy did well, he kept the ball in play and put the pressure on me and unfortunately I couldn't get it done in the third set, with either the serve or the forehand missing. So I am happy to get the win in four,” Federer said.

“I am much higher than I was last year and that's very satisfying just because I have confidence in my movement.

“I am happy that the last four months of work have paid off and now I am in the semis. It's an amazing start to the season.” – AFP


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