Murray into third Melbourne final
Originally published on: 26/01/13 00:00
If the statistics are anything to go by then Murray’s four-hour win over Federer was as comfortable as five-set wins go. The US Open champion fired down more aces (21 to Federer’s five), hit more winners (62-43), had fewer unforced errors (47-60) and won more points (177-151) to beat Federer 6_ѥ4, 6_ѥ7, 6_ѥ3, 6_ѥ7, 6_ѥ2.
“I obviously had more breaks of serve and stuff by the end,” said Murray, who will now face Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final. “Because of that I assume I probably would have won significantly more points. I don't know, though, exactly. I wouldn't say I dominated the match; didn't necessarily feel that way.
“But, yeah, I thought I did a good job tonight,” he added. “I think I did all the things I needed to do. I did them well. Even after the second and fourth sets, which were tough to lose, because I wasn't comfortable, but I was in, you know, good positions in both sets. To lose them was tough. I was just happy with the way I responded after both those sets.”
Murray is one of only two players on tour (along with Rafael Nadal) to hold a winning record over Federer, but before the matchup in Melbourne the 25-year-old had never beaten his Swiss opponent in Grand Slam play.
“Yeah, I mean, it's satisfying obviously,” said Murray. “You know, I've obviously lost some tough matches against him in Slams. So to win one, especially the way that it went tonight, was obviously nice. You know, I'm sure both of us will play each other again in Slams, so it will help having won once against him.”
The victory marked Murray’s 106th win in Grand Slam play, putting him tied with Fred Perry for the most Grand Slam matches won by a British man and if the Scot can beat Djokovic to lift the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup he will re-write the history books.
Murray, who will be hoping it’s third time lucky in Melbourne Park after falling in the final here in 2010 and 2011, says he isn’t too sure how he’ll stack up physically against Djokovic, who has enjoyed an extra day’s rest after a less grueling semi-final.
“You never know how you're going to feel,” Murray admitted. “Yeah, I'm sure I'll be tired tomorrow and stiff and sore, so I need to make sure I sleep as long as possible tonight, do all of the recovery stuff. Yeah, just try your best to be in the best possible condition for Sunday. You know, realistically you're probably not going to feel perfect because of how the match went tonight, but it's not to say you can't recover well enough to play your best tennis.”
Murray, who will also be looking to become the only first-time Grand Slam winner to add to his major account at the very next opportunity, has lost 10 times to Djokovic in the 17 matchups between the pair.