Sport

Fresh Murray confident he can run Roger ragged on court

AFTER earning his place here in the Australian Open semi-finals for the fourth year in succession, Andy Murray said he hoped that Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga would "play for four or five hours" as they fought for the right to meet him next.

The Scot almost had his wish as the Swiss and the Frenchman crossed swords for more than three and a half hours before Federer won 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3.

Whether Federer's exertions will tell on him when he meets Murray today for the fourth time in Grand Slam tournaments remains to be seen.

Asked if the victory over Tsonga had taken much out of him, 31-year-old Federer replied with a smile: "I'm young, you know. I'll recover quickly."

Murray, who beat Jérémy Chardy 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 with what he regarded as his best performance of the tournament so far, should go into the semi-finals as the freshest of the four men left in the tournament.

All the top-four seeds have made it to the last four, as they did last year.

The only difference this time is that one Spaniard, David Ferrer, has replaced another in Rafael Nadal.

The Scot is the only one who has not dropped a set so far.

The only previous time when he has reached the semi-finals of a Grand Slam event without conceding a set was here three years ago.

While Murray's five matches so far have kept him on court for eight hours and 55 minutes, Federer has played for 10 hours and 47 minutes.

With both semi-finals and Sunday's final to be played at night in the Rod Laver Arena, Murray's advantage may be countered by the fact that he has yet to play in the evening here this year.

Federer, in contrast, has played his last four matches under lights.

However, the weather has generally been kind to the players this year and has largely nullified any advantage from playing at night.

Murray has no complaints about the scheduling - "It's tough to make it perfect for every single player" - but attempted to redress the situation by practising last night under the lights of the Hisense Arena, the second of the show courts. He plans another evening session today.

The world No 3 rejected any suggestion that he might be at a disadvantage because he had not yet faced a severe test.

"I can't be disappointed about being in the semis of a Slam without dropping a set," he said.

"That would be silly."

Federer agreed. "I would probably rather be in his shoes," the Swiss admitted.

Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates winning his Quarterfinal match against Jo-Wilfred Tsonga of France during day ten of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 23, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.
Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates winning his Quarterfinal match against Jo-Wilfred Tsonga of France during day ten of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 23, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. Quinn Rooney / Getty Images

Tomorrow's match will be Murray's 20th against Federer.

The Scot, through to his 12th Grand Slam semi-final, goes into it with a 10-9 advantage - Gilles Simon is the only other opponent he has beaten as many times - but Federer has come out on top in their three previous meetings at Grand Slam level, in the finals at the US Open (2008), Australian Open (2010) and Wimbledon (2012).

Federer has reduced Murray to tears in their last two Grand Slam meetings.

In Melbourne three years ago, after pushing Federer hard over three sets, Murray sobbed at the post-final presentation: "I can cry like Roger, it's just a shame I can't play like him."

At Wimbledon last summer, having won a set in a Grand Slam final for the first time at the fourth attempt, Murray wept during his on-court interview.

At first he could manage only two words: "Getting closer."

Four weeks later, however, on the same court, Murray beat Federer in the Olympic final, which is the only other occasion when they have met in a best-of-five-sets match.

Murray went on to win his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open in September, beating Djokovic in the final, and has played Federer twice subsequently: the Scot came out on top in a semi-final in Shanghai, while the Swiss won at the same stage of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.

Murray, who is aiming to become the first man in the Open era to follow up his first Grand Slam title with victory in the next event, said he felt "a little bit calmer than usual" at this stage of the tournament following his triumphs at the Olympics and US Open.

However, he stressed: "I still have an understanding of how difficult it is to win these events. With the players that are still left in the tournament, it's going to be a very tough, tough few days if I want to do that. I'll just stay focused, work hard in my next couple of practice sessions and hope I can finish the tournament well."

Federer, who is through to his 10th successive semi-final here, admitted that his match against Tsonga could have gone either way.

The Frenchman, who knocked Federer out at the same stage at Wimbledon two years ago, levelled the match in the fourth set with some outstanding attacking play, but Federer never looked back after making the early break in the decider.

Murray had a much more straightforward victory over Chardy, beating the 25-year-old Frenchman in an hour and 50 minutes.

With a big serve and powerful forehand Chardy can be a dangerous opponent, but Murray kept him under constant pressure with the power and accuracy of his ground strokes. Murray broke serve eight times.

Chardy admitted: "I played a good match, but he was too good for me. I had a chance and I tried many things, but there was no chance for me. He was too good."

Topics:  andy murray australian open jo-wilfried tsonga roger federer tennis



How to do Eat Street the right way

EVERYTHING you need to know to get the most out of your Eat Street experience and to avoid a food coma when you’re only one stall deep.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Science Festival seriously awesome

Don't miss the World Science Festival Brisbane!

CALLING everyone who wants to see something totally cool.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Top five things to experience this summer in Brisbane

Tangalooma is amazing if you're keen for a dive, kayak or swim.

THIS summer get out and explore your capital city.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Court date for officer caught more than four times over

An off duty police officer was charged with drink driving after his car went through a fence.

Delay for officer caught more than four times over the limit .

On the Mat: High five for big bowls clash

GIVE ME FIVE: Nigel Smith and Nev Jenkins will represent Gold Coast Tweed's over 60s side this weekend.

Interstate bowls challenge accepted

Baby Animals return for One Word 2017 tour

Baby Animals will play Twin Towns on Saturday, March 18 as part of their One Word national tour.

One Word is so much more for rock greats

Local Partners

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Baby Animals return for One Word 2017 tour

Baby Animals will play Twin Towns on Saturday, March 18 as part of their One Word national tour.

One Word is so much more for rock greats

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

Bindi Irwin's birthday tribute to her dad

Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin has paid tribute to her dad on his 55th birthday

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

Prime Tweed site sells at auction

SOLD: The old Rivers commercial retail building at 79-81 Wharf St sold at auction for $2.475 million recently.

Tweed development site sold at auction for $2.475 million

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Top 6 infrastructure projects in the Tweed for 2017

The Gold Coast Airport is getting an upgrade.

Find out what's going in the Tweed.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!