Andy Murray will face world No.1 Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final after the Scot prevailed against Swiss great Roger Federer in Friday night’s epic five set battle.
Murray’s 6-4 6-7(5) 6-3 6-7(2) 6-2 win was the first time he’d been able to pass Federer in a grand slam match from four previous attempts and his physical semi-final victory is the reason Federer believes Djokovic will have the advantage in Sunday’s final.
"Maybe a day extra is going to make a difference," Federer said.
"Obviously Novak is the double defending champion here. He's done really well again this tournament, digging himself out of the hole against Stan, coming and playing good tennis against Berdych and Ferrer," Federer continued referring to Djokovic’s form at the Aussie Open.
"So obviously (it is) a tough match again and I give a slight edge to Novak just because of the last couple of days."
Murray had gone down against Federer in the final of the Melbourne tournament three years ago, but this time round his improved fitness was a key. While Murray was still racing around the court as the match progressed, the older Federer often looked exhausted. The match even got heated at one point- the two exchanged angry words during a tight fourth set, something both players dismissed as nothing serious post-match.
Their semi-final was one of those epic encounters: two elite talents engaging in lengthy rallies that awe the casual fan. Murray will have to bring his best again on Sunday if he wants to best Djokovic.
A win for Murray will see him become the first man to backup up a maiden grand slam title with a second in his next tournament and tennis great Andre Agassi will be on hand to deliver the trophy to tomorrow’s winner.
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