Roger Federer may trail 10-9 when it comes to adding up the overall record with Andy Murray but he’s come out on top in all three of their Grand Slam meetings, all of them in finals, and twice his dominance has left the otherwise steely Scot in tears.
Murray memorably blubbered for the first time on the Australian Open’s Rod Laver Arena following the 2010 Australian final and got even more emotional when handed the on-court microphone in the aftermath of last year’s Wimbledon final.
But now as they meet again, with a place in this year’s Australian Open final on the line, Federer insists he can take nothing for granted and the Murray he will meet tomorrow is a much improved competitor since their last major meeting.
“I don’t go into it with a mindset that I’ve never lost to him in Slams,” said Federer, who won the pair’s last meeting at the same stage of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London last November but lost the Olympic final on Wimbledon’s grass. “He’s beaten me so many times. He’s beaten me more times than I’ve beaten him. I’ll try to remember that when I walk out, but it doesn’t play a huge role for me.”
Federer, bidding to become only the second man to win five Australian titles, after Australia’s Roy Emerson, credits coach Ivan Lendl with implanting a new more attacking edge to the play of third seeded Murray and insists the confidence earned by winning last September’s US Open title will also play a part in the upcoming contest.
“I always enjoyed the match-ups with him because it gets to be very tactical, it wasn’t a straightforward match,” said the 31 year-old Swiss who is nearly six years senior to his opponent. Andy would make you doubt and play very different to the rest of the guys.
“I always enjoyed that when it’s just not every point’s the same. We used to mix it up against each other. Now it’s changed a bit because he’s playing more offensive. The rallies aren’t as long and grueling as they used to be. We both can do that.”
Murray, unbeaten so far in 2013 this year after defending his Brisbane International title nearly three weeks ago, aims to become the only first-time Grand Slam winner to immediately extend his list of major titles at the first opportunity.
“I feel probably a little bit calmer maybe than usual,” said the third seed from Scotland. “But 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.”
©Daily Tennis News Wire