Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Extra Time Has Its Positives, Insists Federer

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Extra Time Has Its Positives, Insists Federer

Article excerpt

ROGER Federer has shrugged off the suggestion Andy Murray's trouble-free route to the semi-finals of the Australian Open gives the Scot the slight edge in what promises to be a close-fought encounter today.

Murray has spent just under nine hours on court in winning five matches - almost two hours less than the Swiss, who was also embroiled in a five-set tussle with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Wednesday.

Federer eventually came through 7-6 (7/4) 4-6 7-6 (7/4) 3-6 6-3 and, while the 17-time major winner would happily have avoided spending so long on Rod Laver Arena, he insists playing longer matches can also have its advantages.

"I would rather be in his shoes," said Federer, "that's exactly how you want to approach a semi-final, in my opinion. But there's also some positives to take out of a five-set match.

"I toughed it out and that gives you confidence when you have to go through those moments. The physical stamina was there, the focus was there till the very end. So it does give you a lot of confidence moving forward from here."

Murray has won 10 of their 19 meetings but has never beaten the 31-year-old in a grand slam.

Indeed, on their last two meetings at a major - the 2010 final here and the Wimbledon final last year - Murray has been reduced to tears by Federer's brilliance.

Murray did enjoy two notable wins in 2012, though, beating Federer to Olympic gold in London and then edging him out in the Shanghai Masters semi-final.

The world number two promptly took revenge in the last four of the World Tour Finals in November as their personal rivalry increased in intensity. Federer claims it is a match-up he has relished over the years, especially now Murray's game has evolved into a more attacking style.

"I've always enjoyed playing against him because it tends to get very tactical," he said. …

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