January 22, 2014
Graceful Roger Federer moved like a youngster but used years of experience to defeat a ring-rusty Andy Murray 6-3, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3. Let off a controversial double bounce on the way to glory, Federer nevertheless deserved his win, having squandered match points in the third.
Now we can look forward to yet another epic between Federer and Rafa Nadal, who lost the first set of his quarter-final to Grigor Dimitrov but still progressed into the Australian Open semi-finals. ‘I’m looking forward to it,’ said Federer. ‘It’s going to be brutal. He’s had an amazing comeback after injury.’
And Federer’s own comeback is causing astonishment too. He was so average last year that some of us thought he should retire. How wrong we were! Roger said he was in better shape here than his rivals and maybe he is right. He certainly stayed the distance and remained super-cool against Murray, despite shooting himself in the foot time and again.
‘I miss more break points than other guys but I’m used to it,’ Roger admitted. ‘I feel like throwing the ball out of the stadium but I keep a poker face.’
On his own fitness, Federer agreed it is ‘much higher than last year. That’s very satisfying because I’m much more confident in my movement. Maybe Andy was carrying something tonight. I hope he stays healthy.’ Federer, on the other hand, is rolling back the years and stands just two wins away from yet another major. ‘Here I am in the semis and it’s an amazing start to the season,’ he said confidently.
Murray looked in pain at times and misjudged many shots despite finding a glimmer of his best to take the third-set tie-break.
And Melbourne produced more thrills and spills when hot favourite Victoria Azarenka was beaten by Agnieszka Radwanska. That leaves the women’s singles tournament wide open, with only Li Na a previous Grand Slam winner among the survivors.
This is the first time that number one seeds in both draws have been dumped out at quarter-final stage in Australia. This is truly the tournament of shocks. It may be down to a faster ball, which can only be great for the sheer drama and unpredictability of the sport. What next? Federer to down Nadal and take the title? Eugenie Bouchard to take the women’s at 19 years old?
At Melbourne this year, you don’t rule anything out!
Want to have the chance to see the resurgent Roger Federer at Wimbledon, his favourite tournament of all? Click on the following link and see the greatest player of all time back to his best in 2014.