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Federer vs Murray Oz Open

6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (13-11)

Federer Makes It Murray’s Turn to Cry With 16th Grand Slam Win

By Dan Baynes
Top-seeded Federer beat Murray at Melbourne Park to win the season-opening tennis Grand Slam for the fourth time and lift his tally of majors to 16. Twelve months ago, a five-set loss to Rafael Nadal reduced Federer to tears at Rod Laver Arena.

“I can cry like Roger, it’s a shame I can’t play like him,” Britain’s Murray said last night as he fought back tears at the trophy ceremony after his 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (13-11) loss.

Federer, 28, took the opening sets as Murray struggled with his first serve. The Swiss then saved five set points in the tiebreaker, converting his third championship point to join Andre Agassi as the only man to win four Australian Open titles since professionals were first allowed to enter in 1969.

The victory took Federer two clear of Pete Sampras on the career list of men’s Grand Slam title winners. Spain’s Nadal, with six majors, is his nearest rival among active players.

“Federer plays with no stress on his body and seemingly no stress in his mind,” four-time major champion Jim Courier said on Australia’s Seven Network. “As long as he stays healthy, we’ll see him challenging for another three to four years.”

Federer became the first father to win a Grand Slam title since Agassi at Melbourne Park seven years ago. After breaking Sampras’s record by winning his 15th major in July at Wimbledon, the Swiss became the father of twin girls with his wife, Mirka.

“This is an incredible trip I’m on,” Federer said in a news conference. “We’ll see where it ends. I hope not anytime soon.”
British Drought

Fifth-seeded Murray, 22, was trying to become the first British man to win one of the sport’s four major championships since Fred Perry captured the U.S. National Championships in 1936. He also lost the 2008 U.S. Open final to Federer.

The Australian Open was Murray’s 17th major, the stage where Federer broke through for his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2003.
“You get a lot of good luck messages from back home and everyone wishing you well,” Murray told reporters. “I would have liked to have done it for everyone, but it wasn’t to be.”

Federer twice broke Murray’s serve in a sweaty first set played in 76 percent humidity. He broke again in the third game of the second set and had little trouble on his own serve, ending the set with a forehand volley winner.

In the final set, Murray took a 5-2 lead before Federer responded by winning three straight games and eventually forcing a tiebreaker, during which Murray failed to convert five set points. Federer missed his first championship point with a forehand pass that went inches wide, and his second when he left a Murray shot that landed inside the baseline.

‘Out of My Hands’

“After losing that point, I’m thinking, My God, he just grabbed the trophy out of my hands,” Federer said. “I might end up losing this thing. Two or three points later, I’m the winner after all.”

Federer’s victory came a day after Serena Williams moved a step closer to what she said was her goal of catching his tally of titles with her fifth championship at Melbourne Park.

“I just want to be with Roger,” Williams told reporters in the early hours of yesterday morning after claiming her 12th major title with a win over Justine Henin. “I was trying to hunt him down, but the guy keeps winning. I’m like, dude, stop winning. The guy is amazing."

Like Williams, who had to battle back from 6-4, 4-0 down in her quarterfinal, Federer’s run to the title in Melbourne wasn’t smooth.
Russian Struggles

It took him four sets against Igor Andreev of Russia to reach the second round, the first time in the past 25 Grand Slam openers he hadn’t won in straight sets.

In the quarterfinals, he fought back from a set and a break down to overcome Nikolay Davydenko, another Russian. Murray had dropped only one set in six matches leading up to the final.

After beating Murray for the second straight time in a Grand Slam final, Federer said the Scot may not have to wait much longer for his first breakthrough victory at the majors.

“He has got everything you need to beat the best and to win big tournaments,” he said. “Sometimes it just doesn’t happen when you want. He’s extremely strong in his mind, and I just feel like he’s got the game to do it. The question is just when.”



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