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


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

More Northern River schools needed to be counted in

John Foreman and Jay Laga'aia at a songwriting workshop earlier this year.

Music - Count Us In will be held in November

All she wants is to be chosen

TAKE ME HOME: Daisy from pet shop to pound to your place.

Daisy has gone from puppy farm pet shop dog to the pound.

It's time to get your shorts on the big screen

ANIMATED: Citizen To Activist, an animation by David Lowe and Eve Jeffrey, won the Jury Award for best Short Film at Flickerfest 2015 - Byron AllShorts.

Entries for Flickerfest 2017 and Byron All Shorts are now open

Local Partners

From purr to a roar, Meow Meow is not kitten

BE prepared, anything can happen during her local shows this week.

Not just any party, it's the Arty Party!

FOR ALL: The event will feature performers, local artists, storytellers, musicians and dancers.

A family-friendly, child-focused arts festival

More Northern River schools needed to be counted in

John Foreman and Jay Laga'aia at a songwriting workshop earlier this year.

Music - Count Us In will be held in November

All she wants is to be chosen

TAKE ME HOME: Daisy from pet shop to pound to your place.

Daisy has gone from puppy farm pet shop dog to the pound.

It's time to get your shorts on the big screen

ANIMATED: Citizen To Activist, an animation by David Lowe and Eve Jeffrey, won the Jury Award for best Short Film at Flickerfest 2015 - Byron AllShorts.

Entries for Flickerfest 2017 and Byron All Shorts are now open

These local movies will shine at 10th Byron Film Festival

LOCAL STORIES: One of the films featured this year is The Bentley Effect, a documentary about the Bentley Blockade.

THIS year marks a milestone for the Byron Bay Film Festival

Graceful Russian ballerinas will perform Swan Lake

ON STAGE: The Russian National Ballet Theatre brings their production of Swan Lake, the full length classical performance.

The Russian National Ballet Theatre is coming soon

Baird dogged by fears greyhound ban will cost Nationals seat

Mike Baird may hold off on implementing the greyhound racing ban until 2020 as he tries to woo voters back into the National fold before the Orange by-election.

Could Orange by-election force Baird to delay greyhound racing ban?

Classic car auction draws buyers from US, Dubai

"He wants everyone to enjoy the cars, the collection got too big'

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

From purr to a roar, Meow Meow is not kitten

ANYTHING IS PAWSIBLE: Acclaimed cabaret star Meow Meow returns to Lismore.

Anything can happen during her local shows this week

More Northern River schools needed to be counted in

John Foreman and Jay Laga'aia at a songwriting workshop earlier this year.

Music - Count Us In will be held in November

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Testament's new album is a concept album

ROME, ITALY- JULY 27, 2016: Testament photographed at The Roman Collisseium in Rome, Italy on July 27,2016. Gene Ambo

Testament to release new album

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction

Peppers Airlie Beach put on the market

ON THE MARKET: Peppers Airlie Beach is being for recievership sale by CBRE Hotels and PRD Nationwide Airlie Beach.

Peppers Airlie Beach is being offered for sale.

3500 jobs on the way with new $950 million resort

Residential, tourist, community, and open space on Hummock Hill Island.

PROPERTY developers plan to begin construction next year.