After Roger Federer lost the first set 6-4, it was obvious the younger and more rested Andy Murray was the stronger player on this day.
And then Federer won the 2nd set.
After Murray took the 3rd set rather easily, it appeared pretty certain that their match wasn’t much longer for this night, as Federer’s unforced error count continued to pile up.
And then Federer won the 4th set.
It was just one of those matches that every time you thought you had it figured out, the exact opposite of what you expected would happen. One of those matches that is so good for tennis.
After a solid 1st set, Murray somehow lost the 2nd set in a tiebreak despite having better numbers than Federer in virtually every category. Then, Murray went on to win the 3rd set in a quick 36 minutes, as Federer didn’t even muster a break point. Which is why at the start of the 4th set, one would have never guessed that Federer would break and jump out to a 4-2 lead. That lead would be short lived though, as Murray won 4 out of the next 5 games and served for the match at 6-5.
With the match on his racquet, while Federer had to be stewing over missed opportunities, surely Murray—who had been almost untouchable on his service games—would be able to finish off Fed. However, one nasty look at the net, a few big shots from Fed, and a big miss by Murray later, we found ourselves in a 4th set tiebreak. Which Fed, riding an apparent adrenaline rush, raced through in dominating fashion.
Now everyone HAD to know what was coming, right?
Federer would now use the current momentum, along with his dominance of Murray in slams (3-0) to take the 5th set and sneak into the final. After all, the ‘Fed Express’ was finally rolling and Murray was forced to sit and ponder how he let the match get to this point despite the fact he had been the better player for the past 3 hours.
Wrong again, Murray would make a huge statement as to where his confidence now stands after such a strong second half of the year last year (Olympic Gold and US Open Champion). Murray jumped out to a 3-0 lead by breaking down Federer’s backhand and never looked back.
Setting up what will likely be an instant classic with Novak Djokovic in the final.
As Federer walked off the court after the conclusion of his 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-2 loss to Andy Murray, the entire Aussie crowd was on it’s feet. Yes, Federer showed us yet again that he is not the Federer of old, but he made it obvious once again that regardless of his age, he will not go quietly….and tennis is better for it.
Follow Cole Stevenson on twitter: @Cole_Stevenson