There was no earth shattering moment, but a definite turning of the tide was evident in Andy Murray’s victory over Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the Australian Open. With a final score of 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-2, Murray has set up a final against the No. 1 seed, Novak Djokovic.
It was close match and Federer made Murray earn it, but there was a sense that the Brit has figured out how to beat Federer. And it is occurring with more consistency.
Murray put together a complete game including serving 21 aces to Federer’s five for uncontested points. The Swiss champ was losing in the rallies as Murray’s defense was superior. Britain’s No. 1 player volleyed well and took advantage of Federer’s second serve.
When the match became tight, Murray did not wilt. In past encounters, this might have been when Murray would play loose and donate points, but not this time. There was the sense that Murray now has the formula for getting the upper hand on the all-time Grand Slam champion.
Federer’s age of 31 will always be a continuing factor and it showed slightly as his serve was not as effective and he played too conservative on Murray’s serve. It was more than age as the 25 year old Murray just stayed in control and did not panic.
The tiebreakers were the only points where Federer had control, but Murray came through in the rest of the match particularly in the fifth set. In that final set, Murray burst out of the gate to take the first three games.
Federer fought the good fight, but Murray kept up the pressure and closed it out to set up a repeat match against Novak Djokovic when Murray won his first Grand Slam title in last year’s U.S. Open.
The final shows promise of being a classic as two time defending champion Djokovic is in top gear. Murray might have the answer to Federer, but can the world ranked No. 3 player also defeat the game’s top player in one of the largest showcases?
Tennis night owls will get first glimpse as the Australian Open final is set for Sunday Jan. 27th 3:30am eastern time Sunday on ESPN.