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Will Murray prevail?

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Jonathan Overend | 16:16 UK time, Friday, 29 January 2010

Roger Federer took almost as much time (1 hour 15 minutes) to complete his press and media commitments as he took to win his semi-final (1 hour 28 minutes) encounter with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Friday night.

As he happily moved from camera to camera, language to language, even asking me about my kids before we hit record on our BBC Sport interview, Federer looked cool and calm and not remotely perturbed by the prospect of facing Andy Murray for the title.

This will be his 22nd Grand Slam final, a chance for a 16th major title, and over five sets Federer is the king. Why should he be concerned?

Andy MurrayAndy Murray poses for photos with fans after training on Friday

Murray has beaten him six times, including four in a row between October 2008 and March 2009, but, as Federer enjoys pointing out, those were all best-of-three-set matches.

It was pretty clear, when we chatted behind the scenes here at Melbourne Park on Friday night, that the world number one relishes the longer contest. Anyone, anytime, any place.

"It's much more intriguing for me because it really shows how good you are mentally, physically and where your game is at," he said.

"Best-of-three-set play can sometimes go by in a flash. Here we will have much more time to solve the problems we have so I'm excited about playing him in another Grand Slam final."

Excited? Come on, Rog, what you really mean is: "I'm ready to give him the same sort of stuffing he got in New York."

Which of course may happen.

Federer starts the strong favourite (forget all this "50-50" nonsense) and almost certainly wins, possibly heavily, if he plays as well as he can. But I'm convinced it will be closer this time.

For all the coolness and magnificently-played mind games, Federer clearly gets irritated by Murray, who holds a 6-4 advantage in head-to-head contests.

The Swiss feels the need to place an asterisk against several of the losses, reminding us, not without justification in some cases, about injuries and illnesses.

On other occasions, such as the 2008 Masters Cup in Shanghai, he has simply been outplayed by an inspired British number one.

And remember, the last time Federer played a five-set final? Juan Martin del Potro twice came from behind to beat him and claim the US Open.

For all the great man's dominance of the modern game and for all his love of the five-set duel, Federer has lost three recent major finals - Wimbledon 2008, Australian 2009, US Open 2009 - in deciding sets.

If it goes long, Murray simply has to keep believing.

At least he'll be refreshed after two full days off. At the 2008 US Open, he played his rain-affected semi-final with Rafael Nadal over the Saturday and the Sunday before coming back on Monday to play Federer. He was annoyed and disappointed he couldn't give his best in the final.

He thoroughly deserves his place in the final, dropping just a single set on the way, and brave decision-making - as well as audacious shot-making - has got him this far.

The first hour of his semi-final with Marin Cilic was spookily similar to the one they played at the US Open. Murray was reserved, on the back foot and dropping balls short. It was asking for trouble.

The Scot has refused to change tactics against big hitters in the past, perhaps hampered by a stubborn belief in his own way of doing things, but here he needed to look at himself, look at the game, look at the scoreboard and take a reality check.

He shifted to Plan B, playing flatter across the net and deeper to the baseline, and when he produced that extraordinary passing shot, chasing back the lob, the match swung. Bingo.

It wasn't as devastating a performance as the Nadal win but it was still 10 out of 10. Turning a match like that on its head, under pressure, was an immense achievement.

His reward? A second Grand Slam singles final, the first British man to experience that since Bunny Austin in 1938.

The tournament had started with a lot of questions about Murray's serve and I confess to asking one which provoked a frustrated snigger. Another guy asked a plain stupid one and he got much worse. Murray can't stand being asked questions about his serve.

"Nobody ever asks me about my return!" he said to my colleague, Vassos Alexander, last week.

"How's your return?" Vassos fired back.

But the serve warrants discussion and praise because, with the obvious exception of round one under the Rod Laver Arena roof, it has been a roaring success.

The second set against Cilic, which he surely had to win, featured a first serve percentage of 77 - a tremendous number for a guy who sometimes slips below 40.

And the second serve - much derided over the years and seen as the obvious weakness in Murray's make-up - has been bigger and deeper, sharp and decisive. In short, a total revelation.

His average second serve speed, over six matches, is 91mph. Against Nadal, it was 95mph. These are figures which have definitely improved in the off-season, and now, with a decent body serve to call upon, the shot is actually winning points.

For example, set point down to John Isner in the fourth round, he fired a big second serve into the body. The return came back, but Murray was on his way to finishing the point and snaffling the American's one big chance in the match. There was a similar delivery, I seem to remember, on a crucial deuce point in the final game of the first set versus Nadal. Brave stuff indeed.

The statistical analysis could continue forever (13 out of 16 serve-and-volley points won versus Nadal, only eight unforced errors in the whole match versus Isner), with most of it reflecting favourably on Murray.

But now the scorecards can be ripped up, the figures erased from the hard drive, because it's all in the mind.

It's about one guy stepping out against another, under the glare of a watching world, and bringing out his best.

"I believe I can do it," says Murray, with a smile and real purpose. "I'll give it my best shot and I'm three sets away."

A huge UK television and radio audience will tune into tennis on a cold January morning to see a potentially momentous happening: Federer v Murray for the Australian Open title.

Who will prevail?

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    The question is, if del Potro can beat Federer in 5 sets, why can't Murray? Remember last year how people were saying del Potro did not have the energy to last 5 sets and that Murray would win a Slam before he did? They have all been silenced since.

    If Murray can win tomorrow, then he and the del boy could have a great rivalry in the years to come. Right now, it is Murray who has everything to prove. Maybe he can draw inspiration from Hewitt and Safin who both beat Sampras in GS finals before he was past his prime.

  • Comment number 2.

    I really feel that it depends on which Roger Federer shows up. If he wants to win, I feel he'll be able to comfortably, however he'll have to be ready to face absolutely everything Murray throws at him, and that will be a whole lot.

  • Comment number 3.

    I hope Murray does it.

    I don't think he will , but it would be a boost for British tennis & also confirm that the men's game is in rude health at world level with 6 slam winners all on the circuit together..

    I also have a less savoury reason for wanting Andy to win in that I find Roger unsufferably smug & amazingly easy to dislike.

  • Comment number 4.

    Federer played badly in the US Open final, Del Potro was the better player after going a set and a break down due to the occassion getting the better of him. Federer serve in particular was disappointing with less than 50 % first serves over the whole match and 11 double faults. He let himself lose focus over a couple of challenges and a small altercation with the umpire. Overall though, he had chances to win that match even though he didn't play well, and against Murray you would expect him to turn up focused, like he did in Cincinatti, an important match if he was to overturn his losing record against Murray which stood at 6-2 against, after losing the last 4 matches they had played after that US Open final of 08. Federer definately expected Del Potro to go away in that match, but didn't have enough in the tank to raise his level, possibly due to playing back to back days and even though the Djokovic SF was in straight sets it was still a test he could have done without. Murray is definately a rival for him, and has been a stern test for him over the past couple of seasons. Whilst non of us probably gave Juan Martin a chance, withstanding the fact Murray is British, Sunday's final is no more than 50/50. The past meetings have nearly always been close and Federer knows one thing that even a set and a break down, Murray won't be going away.

  • Comment number 5.

    The tone of Federer's comments after his semi-final suggests to me that there are many, many players he'd rather have faced in the final than Andy Murray. I thought some of his comments could be taken as a little disrespectful - hope they add to Murray's determination. It's as though Fed feels he needs to put pressure on mentally now, where he hasn't needed to before.

    'No British slam winner for about 150,000 years' said the first Swiss slam winner for...ever? I didn't know that irony was so big in Switzerland.

    Come on, Andy. Stick it right to him.

  • Comment number 6.

    It depends on whether Federer turns up and plays his own game. When Federer is on form, he is untouchable. Reagardless of Murray's form tommorrow he cannot win, Federer can only lose it.
    I think Federer will win, he has the ability and the nerve to go all the way, no doubt Murray will push him and push him hard, but I expect Fed to come through in four.
    Murray's only chance is to win the early exchanges and not let Fed dictate the tempo of the game. Im Murray can get under his skin then it is possible. But I expect Fed to show up and blow Murray away.

  • Comment number 7.

    Federer will win - probably in 4 sets after the traditional wobble in the third. Murray is good but he is no Federer.

  • Comment number 8.

    It looks pretty 60:40 in favour of Federer.Reasons, can be many.But,here are a few.Roger Federer has the experience stamina and can cope with a five setter final with ease.He is too cool a cucumber when it comes to facing strong rivals over these years.Nevertheless,he looks vulnerable now than 2 years ago.On his day he can make the contest unmatched like the semi-final tie against Tsonga.But when he has a bad day he can lose easily aswell.
    But as for Andy Murray, he looks rock solid in fitness and looks agile and there is no doubt he is a worthy finalist.If that be the case,age and youth is on his side apart from his class.But, I still feel Federer will be the champ as for now. But Andy,I wish you win to prove me wrong.Good luck to both you guys let tennis win and we watch a worthy contest.MANNIE.POOLE DORSET.U.K.

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 10.

    i hope Federer wins tomorrow, and I think he will. Murray is good and can beat him, but while everyone's justifiably been talking about his form, we've kind of forgotten that that ol' Rog is in rather good nick himself.

    What's fascinating is that Roger's changed his forehand slightly so he seems to hitting the ball earlier. He wasn't expecting it to be fully ready by Wimbledon, but it seems to be clicking.

    Rog in 4 with at least 1 tie break

  • Comment number 11.

    #3 - I could not agree with you more. RF has always had this smugness oozing out of him. I for one loved it when Rafa destroyed him in the French 08. Here's to Andy making RF cry like a baby like last year. GO MURRAY..!

  • Comment number 12.

    Well Jonathan, I have to disagree with your comment regarding Federer being a "strong favourite": he is not. Federer starts the marginal favourite, but Murray has improved a lot since 2008 and, if he can hang in there and take it to a fifth set, he has a great chance.

  • Comment number 13.

    Federer has every right to be smug. Besides, he has a witty arrogance about him unlike several others who are just cocky. I'm thinking Djokovic and Tsonga in particular.

  • Comment number 14.

    MURRAY IN 4!!!already set my alarm for sunday cant wait im confident he will do it

  • Comment number 15.

    This is 2010 not 2005. If both players are at their best then Murray is favourite.

    Federer is well on the way down. Stuffed by Potro, fluked it against Roddick and needed Haas to choke in the French open.

    He is the smuggest and most arrogant player in the men's game. Fits in well as one of the Gillette 3.

  • Comment number 16.

    Murray is ascending Federer despite being awesome is declining. I believe Murray is ready, he'll win comfortably. Much more comfortably than the pundits will allow themselves to consider. Murray's game stacks up very well against Federers, he's in form and has the mental fortitude to have learned his lesson. Federer for all his other attributes isn't great under pressure. He'll feel under pressure straight away with Murray and he'll fail because of it.

    Murray wasn't ready before. He is now. He has nothing to fear except fear.

  • Comment number 17.

    #3 and #11

    I completely disagree i have always found federer extremely humble and easy to like. Smug is never a word i would associate with him.
    I have never liked murray i don't know why there is just something about him he seems very arrogant for someone who hasn't won a grand slam yet (not to mention grumpy).

    As for federer crying last year, its called human emotion people react to things in different ways his tears where not a sign of weakness or sadness as he has explained before they were tears of disappointment.

    I sincerely hope Roger Federer wins on Sunday. But i can't say if he will or not no one has a crystal ball, its what happens on the day not statistics of the past.

  • Comment number 18.

    Federer is declining? 8 slam finals in a row, something like 18 out of the last 19 finals have had him in & also the fact is & remains so up to Sunday that if you beat Roger you win the tournament.

    I dont understand how that makes him in 'decline'.

    Murray reached the US Open final in 2008 yet did not make 1 Grand Slam final last year, so is he on he way down?

    Casual fans make me laugh, watch his interview again, he was relaxed & joking about Andy, stating how good he is tactically & also commenting on him being a nice guy & playing great tennis. Smug? nit sure myself.

    Anyway I think for Murray to win he needs to start fast & get ahead, I dont see him beating Federer from a set down.

    Going back to the Del Potro final, Roger deserved to lose but also dont forget he didnt serve well & had something like 22 break points in the match, same with last years final against Rafa.

    He is beatable but apart from a one off disaster against Rafa in the 08 FO he doesnt get whipped in finals, so it wil be close.

  • Comment number 19.

    Prince of Wales...... i'll be impressed if he beats Federer tomorrow, mainly because if you've won a match 24 hours before it starts he has played some stunning mind games.

    with respect to the match, Murray has been superb in Australia, and from what I have read, seen and heard it seems as if he has been playing the better tennis. Federer talks about fitness and such like but Andy has had a pretty straightforward two weeks playing less than 20 sets of tennis add on to that two days off before the final and he should be in perfect shape.

  • Comment number 20.

    I am not as expert as some commenters here, but it appears to me that Murray has matured considerably over the past year..as a player.. as a tactician and as a person.

    He also seems to have developed various aspects of his game..not least his serve.

    What has excited me during this tournament is his more aggressive attitude and approach in various tricky situations, where he would have played more cautiously in the past.

    What I hope most observers would agree, is that Murray at 22 has improved all aspects of his game .. more than Federer has over the past year.

    I do not agree with the Federer sycophants/ Murray denigrators.. I think this could go either way..all depending on who is better up for it mentally and physically on the day..as it should be.. ..

    Federer is awesome, but Murray knows he can beat him and if he performs at the same levels he has shown so far in this tournament..he can do it. If he does, I think he could well be on a roll.

    AND..if Murray..loses (even 3 love) it will not be the end of the road for him..at 22, but if Federer loses.. well..

    Apart from all that.. Murray is British..and I shall be rooting for HIM!


  • Comment number 21.

    I wouldn't agree that Federer is the strong favourite for this. Murray is a different player than the one that lost at Flushing Meadows in '08. His game has improved and he has learnt to attack as well as defend which has seen him develop into a more rounded player. Federer is pretty much the same as where he was a year or two ago - just more relaxed than this time last year when the pressure to beat Nadal, equal Sampras recored etc was all on the line. There is none of that this time around and I think he feels any GS final is now a bonus - I don't think there will be tears this time.

    That said, Federe thrives off pace and flat hitting and Murray will have to choose very carefuly when and how he attacks. However, if he sits at the back to much, Fed will move him around and control the rallies and would win quite comfortably.

    Murray must also hope that Federer doesn't bring his serving A game to the final. Both finals Federer lost last year were due in part to his poor averages in this dept. He couldn't rely on it to get him through which it did at Wimbledon and Del Potro and Nadal were able to capitalise and put him under pressure, both prevailing in five sets.

    Both are under pressure. Murray to end 74 years of British GS drought and Federer to put clear water between him and Sampras and stop his GS losing run agains the top players. He will also know, at 28, the window for GS success is closing due to the likes of Murray and DP etc reaching their playing potential.

    Much to play for - IMO Murray will win in 5, I think he may just want it that little bit more than Federer. 4/6 6/3 6/3 5/7 6/4 to the Scot.

  • Comment number 22.

    Can I just make something clear, because some people don't seem to have understood this quote from Federer.

    'No British slam winner for about 150,000 years'

    He explained that the British media keep going on about it and putting pressure on Murray. And that Murray has been handling it well

  • Comment number 23.

    Sunday should be a great match if both can play the same level of tennis they have played in the past two weeks. It would be nice for Murray to win his first GS but Federer plays tennis that's wonderful to watch. Murray has started to change his game and make it more attacking which is a good improvement. I predict Federer to win in 4 but if there is a disputable hawkeye challenge early on then Murray to win in 4.

  • Comment number 24.

    I'd just like to point out that Federer's comments about the length of time since a male British winner of a Grand Slam were a joke, a little jibe to the British public and have been blown out of all proportion. After all, Murray probably doesn't care how long it is since a British player won a Grand Slam, his achievements are his and his alone, why do people have to try and involve themselves in what is not a team sport, and is essentially about an individual. Some people use Nationality, the fact that he is British, as a reason/justification for their support and bias for him. I do not understand why that because someone comes from the same country as you, he is any different (and often superior) to any other person, particularly when you have no connection with him/her!

    Anyway, I believe the final will be close. As a Federer fan (because I judge him for the sole thing we should judge, his ability to play tennis, and thus I like his style), I am worried as Murray poses a notable threat to Federer due to his grit and chasing down of lost causes, similar to those qualities of Nadal!

    Cmon Fed!!!!

  • Comment number 25.

    Think Federer is a great example of a man who knows the right words to say to the media. Though what he has said isn't necessarily negative, he clearly has some kind of problem with Murray.

    Though he says the record does not bother him, and makes excuses for his losses, I think he is lying to himself because he hates the idea of losing to Murray.

    Federer's A game would beat anyone, anyday, past or present but for perhaps Nadal on clay so I feel a bit suprised that he feels the need to say things like:

    "Plus he's playing me, who's won many Grand Slams prior to that, been able to win here three times so I know what it takes and how to do it, which is definitely an advantage."

    Everyone already knows.

    Anyway, should be a good match, don't believe either player will go in with an advantage, its what is produced on the day.

  • Comment number 26.

    We've watched Andy's career develop over the last few years, and there always seems to be something striking about him... A willingness & desire to get to the next level. To step beyond himself.

    Quite often, it seems to me, his first chance at that "next level" is frequently a loss - like he's slightly overwhelmed at having gone up that level. But the striking thing is that there is a second chance at it, and he then wins that one. No matter the level - newbie at the challengers, through wildcards on the tour, and on to quarters, semis and final at masters and slams - it's always a 2-step jump up.

    It seems that the second bite at the cherry is always taken in a considerably more level-headed & determined fashion.

    Recently, Nadal has been a bigger roadblock to Murray than Federer has - and how well was he being dealt with?

    For me, it doesn't matter which Federer turns up. It's if Andy can keep the same composure & determination he has shown in the rest of the tournament. And I think that, this time, it looks like he can.

    Strangely, I don't read the same coolness into Federer's comments. I think the quips about the 150,000 year thing are a sign *he's* more nervous. And he's certainly shown signs of frustration at playing Murray in the past.

  • Comment number 27.

    Murray will get back to his usual defensive game once he gets a bit tight. It is just his natuarl instinct. Federer will win this in straight sets.

  • Comment number 28.

    I have never found Roger Federer smug or arogant. I think he is the greated tennis player ever, well his record speaks for itself. Only Pete Samprass come close to him.
    It will be close on Sunday but Roger has the advantage in experience. I hope the true winner is the fans who get to see a true grand slam clasic who ever wins!

  • Comment number 29.

    Another here in support of the Fed's attitude. Who are these chippy Brits taking exception to his 150,000 years remark? Can you not understand the whole picture, the context? He was open, happy, amusing and totally fair and forthright. I thought, by Swiss standards, his interview was positively Bill Hicks like. What more do you want from a supreme competitor? He's a winner, one of the greatest of all time across all sports. If Murray brings out a competitive streak in him that provokes certain responses, so what?

  • Comment number 30.

    I definatley think Murray can do it Sunday morning, his playing at the top of his game, looks physically and mentally strong and against any player right now i would be certain that he would win his first grand slam, BUT his not playing against any player. I agree Federer is the key to the match he clearly wants to set to record straight, and with memories of last years Aussie Open and US Open finals i have a bad feeling that Federer is going to be more determined than ever and really turn on the style. Its going to be pretty epic!

  • Comment number 31.

    I am unable to decipher peoples perceptions of either Feds or Murrays supposed arrogance. They both strike me as humble guys reasonably unaffected by the media spotlight thrust upon them.

    As to the result of the final, I expect that Fed will win, not because Murray is mentally (or physically) weak but because Fed is an exceptional talent, possibly the best ever.

    However I expect Murray to win Majors in the future because he too is exceptional and the man most likely, in my opinion, to step into Feds (large) shoes.

    All that said, come on Murray stuff him!

  • Comment number 32.

    Have some respect guys, Fed is the best player to have ever played the game, there is hardly any debate about that. He was joking when he made reference to the 150K, nothing more.

    I hope Andy gives him a game and maybe, just maybe, he can take it in the 5th.

  • Comment number 33.

    Excellent blog. I thought Federer's post match interview was superb, all world class sports people need copious amounts of self belief (arrogance?) and kidology is all part of the game.
    If Murray brings his passive, defensive game to the final (e.g. 1st set against Cilic) then it'll be over in 3 sets. If he plays like he did in the first couple of sets against Nadal then I can see it being a fantastic final and could go either way.
    Murray has all the tools, tenacity and talent to be one of the great tennis players but, regarding Grand Slams, I feel we've a little while yet to wait for a British Champion.

  • Comment number 34.

    Why do people say Fed is smug and cocky? I'll admit I don't watch much Tennis but whenever I've seen him talk these are not the words I'd use to describe him, I find him rather down to earth actually.

  • Comment number 35.

    This will definitely be a match not to miss. Whilst most people believe Roger Federer will win, I don't think that it is totally certain. Andy Murray has improved a great deal in recent years, and great as he is Federer will loose at some point and won't be at the top of his game forever. All top players eventually fall and it's usually when it's not expected. If Murray can get in early, find the small weak areas in Federer's game and exploit them then he'll get the upper hand. What he mustn't do is give in, or stop believing. Cilli may have won the first set in the semi but as soon as Andy got his self belief back the whole game changed. That's how he needs to be on Sunday, he knows he has beaten Federer before and needs to have the determination and self belief to fire himself up to do it again. The one thing he shouldn't do is let the idea of being the first British player to win a Grand Slam since 1977, or the fact that he's playing Roger Federer play on his mind. If he focuses on playing against a player he knows he has beaten before, and plays as well as he has recently then I don't see any reason why he can't win.

    Roger Federer may well be good, he may well be the best, but even the best are beatable. He's not invincible and Andy has beaten him before.

    It won't be easy. Roger will try and intimidate Andy and put him under intense pressure both physically and emotionally. We've already seen that Andy can handle that so even if Roger takes an early lead, Andy just needs to keep reminding himself "I CAN win". I believe he has the ability to win and hope he shows Roger what he's made of and gets as good as he gets.

    Even if he doesn't win, he's improving all the time and getting closer to that Grand Slam win every time he plays in one. He WILL win a Grand Slam and I really hope that Sunday 31st January 2010 is Andy Murray's day and will be a day that goes down in British Tennis history.

    COME ON ANDY!!!! I hope you wipe that smug look clean off of Federer's face.

  • Comment number 36.

    Murray can win this - he has the mental and physical strength and all the shots. But he doesn't have the sheer brilliance of Federer. IF Fed goes in the Zone Andy's going to lose but if he drops his game Murray will take it. Bring on Sunday.

  • Comment number 37.

    @24 - Spot on.

    These are young men being asked their opinions and then being castigated when they actually decide to answer truthfully and/or with a some wit.

    Fed has fallen foul of the media several times for perceived slights and Murray has never been forgiven for an off the cuff remark (as a 19 year old I believe, prior to the 2006 WC). I am sure we could all be erudite, charming and gracious to our opponents with an audience of 10,000 in the stadium and millions on TV.

    These 2 guys are a credit to themselves and the sport (as are nearly all the other players) in a very high pressure environment.

    Anyway as a proud Englishman/Brit - come on Muzza!

  • Comment number 38.

    I want Andy Murray to win it for all the kids & teacher whose hopes & dreams died so many years ago (gone but not forgotten)& for yourself Andy behind you all the way!

  • Comment number 39.

    I literately wouldn't know who is going to win this one. Fed shades it for me. Its pretty obvious but the first set is crucial. Andy loses that he will probably lose the game. Win the opening set we could have a nadal/federer Wimbledon final (07 and 08)all over again

  • Comment number 40.

    It's always quite amusing reading the posts of people who analyse Federer's quotes when he gives interviews in English. Perhaps I'm wrong, but isn't English his 3rd language, after French and German? Furthermore he is Swiss. Aren't Swiss people traditionally rational and forthcoming? I consider Federer's English interviews nothing other than honest and polite.
    Murray has played fantastically well this tournament, which is great, as he brings a fantastic range of shots to the game, as well as a dead-pan Scottish interview technique, which I love. Fed's experience, and utter brilliance, will probably tell in the end. After all, he has only played in 22 major finals.
    We should relish Fed as long as he plays, as I believe he is well on the way to becoming the greatest sportsman who ever graced this fair planet.

  • Comment number 41.

    To the people saying Federer is "in decline" - LMAO!!!

    The guy has been in 18 out of the last 19 Grand Slam finals, an achievement unparalleled in the sport's history.

    So basically he has declined to being ermm... the greatest player of all time? LOL - whatever!

    Now Nadal - there's an example of a player in physical decline...

  • Comment number 42.

    #40 meredith_hunter - "Perhaps I'm wrong, but isn't English his 3rd language, after French and German?"

    Yes you are wrong. His mother is South African and so he is bilingual. French is actually his third language.

  • Comment number 43.

    Im not quite good at History. Why is Scotland part of UK? The English seem to make everything they cant do well British (velodrome cycling, tennis,boxing etc) and seperate the "home nations" on what they can do better at.(football, rugby). Shouldnt Murray simply be Scottish and not British? Then this whole Fred perry comparison would be meaningless huh?

  • Comment number 44.

    We have to first of all acknowledge that Andy is playing against the best tennis player of all time. Can he win? Yes. Will he win? He has to serve well, and cut the unforced errors and play as well as he did against Nadal.I think Murrays more relaxed approach has made him a better player and I don't think there is any doubt he will win a slam, it's just when. At best it will be tomorrow, at worst when Federer has retired. Andy's only 22 and has time on his side, there is no hurry for Murray! I would love him to win and am disappointed by this whole Scottish or British thing. He's British and the whole country should will him to win, not want him to fail.He really is a personable,exceptionally talented young man who conducts himself well and is unflinchingly polite with the media. Look at him compared to a certain Tiger Woods and there's a lesson there for everybody.Good Luck Andy!

  • Comment number 45.

    I expect Murray to win in 4 sets. I have always been impressed with Murrays preparation and his knowledge of his oppponents game is second to none. Murray has shown he has improved his game in off season as commented, I suspect when he was not practising on court he was studying the top 4 players weaknesses. Against Nadal he was superb even before the injury issue. Federer has been a great champion but he will not be a match for the 'new' Murray.

  • Comment number 46.

    for all the people complaining about Fed's apparent smugness, doesn't he have a right to be as he is the greatest player in his profession that has ever lived? Having said all this he is not even smug with it, he is witty, ironic and extremely entertaining, and most of all looks like a relaxed father just enjoying his tennis. I believe he has the upmost respect for all those players around the top 10 and would never disrespect any of them, what an amazing role model and ambssador for the game he has been.
    as for the match tommorow morning, its going to be close, and in previous slams i would have backed fed every step of the way. having said this i have a sneaky suspicion murray could cause an upset, and what a start to an amazing run that could be for mr murray. shame he isn't english!

  • Comment number 47.

    Murray as underdog, exactly what he will want to help reduce the immense pressure on him to succeed.
    He will need his A game to win, and I believe he will. Federer always brings his best game to a grand slam final.
    This has all the potential to be a classic 5 setter.

  • Comment number 48.

    I am a strong Federer fan and he is definitely not as good as in 2005 -2007. But he is still better than all the other players. He is definitely the best player in a 5 set match. The only way Murray can win is if he can stop a Federer run when he starts (we know Federer always enters an incredible phase of brilliance in matches)... But i honestly don't want Murray to win, because the british press will not give anybody peace of mind again, they will probably start calling him the greatest ever (lol) or something in that context.

  • Comment number 49.

    There are three imponderables in this final:

    1. Will Murray be inhibited? If so, he'll lose easily. He has to win it, Federer won't lose it.
    2. Will Murray produce his best tennis on the biggest points? If so, he has a reasonable chance. He'll be break points down sometime, so winning them may turn the match. Aces under pressure make champions....
    3. Will Federer be imperious under threat? If so, Murray will need to be relentless for 3 hours to win. Look at Nadal 2008 for inspiration there.

    Both men should be fresh, so it should be a fair fight.

    Federer's ratcheted up the media game, so he's definitely up for it.

    Murray needs to put all media needling into the box marked 'that's their job'. Staying calm and focussed in that arena is part of winning.

    Time to go out there and show he's ready to step up to the plate against the Ali of his sport.

  • Comment number 50.

    Amazing how many people tell us who they like or don't like. I'm pretty sure you've all never met either of them.

    And for those who think either are smug, arrogant or cocky, well, if they didn't think very highly of themselves or their abilities, they wouldn't have made it as pro tennis players.

    I can't call this game, but I do think that whether or not Murray wins, he's a fantastic player who deserves to be seen as a potential winner in each GS he enters.

  • Comment number 51.

    What makes this final interesting is that Murray isn't lethargic and exhausted for a change. Federer is sooo ungracious about being defeated by anyone except nadal but the fact is he showed up, and has lost 6 times to Murray. He surely can't suggest that Murray didn't come into the US open final slightly having one arm tied behind his back (which is difficult when you've got a 2 handed backhand)
    I'm not neccesarily backing Murray to win but hopefully there can be no excuses.
    Fed's response to defeat is either excuses or crying so lets hope we get some of that tomorrow!

  • Comment number 52.

    Federer for as good as he is needs to learn some humility. he is arrogant, conceited, big-headed and belittles the achievements of other players. He seems to think he has a God given right to win ever tournament and defeat every player. Inasmuch as he has been good for the men's game he needs to realise that he isn't the only player on the circuit. My advice to you Mr. Federer is stop acting like a spoilt brat, show some respect and play the game on the court; not with your mouth.

  • Comment number 53.

    "On other occasions, such as the 2008 Masters Cup in Shanghai, he has simply been outplayed by an inspired British number one."

    Um, excuse me, Mr Overend, but if you click on the link in that statement you are taken to a BBC article highlighting Roger Federer's very obvious and genuine back injury that was treated several times during that match (and despite that he almost beat an in-form Murray). Please do your homework!

    And for the record, even though RF's mother is South African, English IS his third language. He spoke Swiss German at home (while learning a little English from his mother), studied high German at school and learnt French at tennis academy. He is now extremely fluent in French and it's regarded as his second "main" language after German. But despite that he is a wonderful interviewee in English and is highly appreciated by the press.

  • Comment number 54.

    At 11:45am on 30 Jan 2010, glennptodd wrote:

    Federer for as good as he is needs to learn some humility. he is arrogant, conceited, big-headed and belittles the achievements of other players. He seems to think he has a God given right to win ever tournament and defeat every player. Inasmuch as he has been good for the men's game he needs to realise that he isn't the only player on the circuit. My advice to you Mr. Federer is stop acting like a spoilt brat, show some respect and play the game on the court; not with your mouth.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    HAHAHAHHA.... Why do I have a strong feeling u are british and u are sore about the fact that no bristish has won a grand slam in 150,000 years..........................hahhahaha

  • Comment number 55.

    Andy in straight sets.... Watch this space :)

  • Comment number 56.

    "For all the great man's dominance of the modern game and for all his love of the five-set duel, Federer has lost three recent major finals - Wimbledon 2008, Australian 2009, US Open 2009 - in deciding sets."

    I think Federer has twice lost in that manner towards the latter half of last year, having been sets up early in the matches.

    I find it hard to predict this one. It depends which Federer comes out and which Murray and that is imponderable because it depends how each reacts in the moment when faced with the other. Both have reason to feel threat and vulnerability. I wouldn't be confident enough to put a firm bet one way or the other. Both have played extremely well during the tournament, though both have also been variable, and can be again.

    It will be fascinating to see how they match in terms of play and mental and physical stamina at this point in their careers.



  • Comment number 57.

    Murray had a VERY easy draw, in the final analysis. Nadal was injured and Cilic (seeded 14) was exhausted after three five set matches. So who else did he beat?

    Nobodies.

    Federer, on the other hand, beat the most in form player on the tour (NiDav) and absolutely crushed a top ten player of Murray's ability in the semi final.

    But all that aside, I watched both semi finals. If both players play as they did in those matches, Federer will make Murray look like a complete amateur.

  • Comment number 58.

    "On other occasions, such as the 2008 Masters Cup in Shanghai, he has simply been outplayed by an inspired British number one."

    Would that be the same 2008 Masters Cup when Federer was playing with a back injury, which had caused him to withdraw from the Paris Masters, and which required on-court treatment during the match against Murray?

    The fact that he managed to make a real fight of that final set was testament to Federer's mental strength.

    The match is on Federer's racquet tomorrow, and if he comes out in the same relaxed and confident mood as he did in the last two rounds (there will be no problem with the low sun tomorrow), I think he'll be walking away with the trophy again.

  • Comment number 59.

    Whoever you support there's no doubt that the final is between the two best players at this slam. Form wise there's nothing much to choose between them so it's going to come down to mental strength. Federer has been there, done that and got the T shirt (or dodgy jacket?). Murray wasn't mentally there at the US open but has come on leaps and bounds in that short period.

    Is Fed irritated by Murray? Considering he has a losing record I'm sure he is and he wouldn't have achieved what he has if he didn't hate losing. Can Murray use this to his advantage? Maybe, but it could be like pulling the tail of a tiger. However, if Murray starts being complimentry to Federer he's lost already.

    Who will win? My heart wants Murray and my head thinks he'll shade it in four but it's going to be a hell of a battle.

  • Comment number 60.

    Federer will win in 3sets or Murray will beat him.If Murray plays his best tennis he can win.If he does not, it can be over very quickly.

  • Comment number 61.

    An intriguing final. A match that has so many possible outcomes. A match on paper that Federer should win. However, Murray is one of the few players on tour to have a winning record against the Swiss maestro.

    If Federer plays like he did against Hewitt in the Round of 16 then I believe he is near unplayable. At times he looked like the vintage Federer of five years ago. Supreme. Hewitt went into the game having lost his past 14 meetings with Federer. Simply put his game no longer matches up well to Federer's despite an initial winning record against Fed pre 2004. Murray doesn't carry the mental baggage that Hewitt unavoidably took into that match. However, I believe that Murray will not let Federer play with the type of freedom he has become accustomed to against the gutsty, but ultimately limited Australian.

    Murray has the on court nouse to prevail on Sunday. He has the ability to mix things up. He will try and throw high, looping shots to the Federer backhand, stay aggressive from the back of the court and he will serve and volley to keep the Swiss honest. If he can do all these things then Britain may have its first Slam winner since 1936, if not then it will still be great way to start a dreary Sunday morning!

  • Comment number 62.

    Actually, Barbara Hall, he is not "extremely fluent" in French. He does speak it well but not as fluently and naturally as he does English. I have seen him falter and struggle for the "mot juste" in French. It would be fair to say that he is more fluent in English.

  • Comment number 63.

    I am English and will not be supporting Murray tomorrow, simply because I have always watched and liked Federer. I liked Tim Henman and if he were playing I would be cheering for him.
    Find it strange people on here find Fed so irritating. He always comes accross as a nice bloke and is obviously well liked amongst the players...oh well

    Tough match to call. I'm on the fence.

  • Comment number 64.

    I too find Federer smug - from his comments about other players to his view of himself (I don't deny he is, possibly, the best player ever to pick up a racket) to his disrespect for other players. To this end, I didn't like the gold embroidery "15" when he won Wimbledon, obviously done before he'd won the title! Before anyone shoots me down in flames -I said "I find Federer smug", and I can't change that - it is a fact.

    I would dearly love Murray to win tomorrow and the hangover I have for work on Monday if he does win will be a small price to pay.

    I am sending a box of tissues to Federer in the hope he will need them. However, my heart says Murray; my head, unfortunately, says Federer.

    Good luck Andy - the hands on the clock are taking a long time to move today!

  • Comment number 65.

    I am Welsh and struggle to understand why all Brits don't support Murray. Yes we can admire the skills of Federer - the greatest tennis player of the modern era but Murray is British and I love watching him when he is fit and on form as he is right now. A win tomorrow for me ranks as high as Wales winning the grand slam - and I will be there next Saturday cheering Wales on, as I will be cheering Murray on tomorrow and England in the World Cup, Come on Murray GO!

  • Comment number 66.

    Wow. These negative comments about Roger Federer being 'arrogant' or a 'sore loser', I mean talk about going out of your way to fault someone. It takes real grace to be the ambassodor that Fed has been for tennis and for sport, I think he deserves a tiny bit more respect than what he's getting on this blog.
    Anyhow, if the US Open final was man against boy then I think this final will be man against teen. Murray will be stronger physically and mentally than he was in '08 but I still think the occasion will get to him. Plus, Federer's hitting in this slam has been awesome and Murray just won't be able to keep up in the end.
    6-4, 6-4, 6-2

  • Comment number 67.

    Yes, Sammyme, and I've heard many native English speakers, including UK politicians, falter and struggle for the mot juste in English. I live in a country one of whose official languages is French and I can assure you that Fed IS extremely fluent in the language. I didn't say he was perfect - who is?

    As several people have pointed out here, anyone who listens properly to Roger's recent English interviews will discover that the "first British player for 150000 years" thing is a standing joke amongst the players. RF was in fact congratulating Andy Murray on how he has handled all the absurd pressure he has been subjected to by the UK media all these years.

    Good luck to them both tomorrow.

  • Comment number 68.

    I am surprised at the negativity of most of the comments thus far. The fact is that technically Murray is the better player. Federer relies heavily on his serve (bit like Sampras in that respect) but Murray is great at returning serve hence his head to head advantage over Federer. Federer tries to protect his forehand by standing way in the ad-out box so if Murray rediscovers his famous down the line double hander (and he has used it much more often this tournament than last year) that will force Federer to be more honest and thus expose his back hand to Murray's cross courts.
    Of course, Federer has the advantage due to his vast experience but if Murray delivers his best tennis, it doesn't matter what Federer does.
    The big question is can Murray bring his A game to the court and heres hoping he can.
    C'mon Andy; get in tae them !!

  • Comment number 69.

    Being Scotish I am behind Murray all the way. But Federer is the greatest player ever to have picked up a racket, and when he is at his best he's unbeatable so I think it's a tall tall order.

    When he lost in the 3 finals recently, I don't think he was quite right mentally, maybe having acheived so much the drive isn't quite there to slog it out in a close 5th set. But when he hits top form there is no one that can compete with him, and he desperately wants to beat Murray. i hope not but I fear it could be the same as the U.S Open final

  • Comment number 70.

    I think that the reason there is this debate on whether Federer is smug or not is this. When Federer wins a match or tournament, and this is of course often the case, he is highly gracious towards his vanquished opponent, saying how brilliantly they played etc. This gives the air of a very down-to-earth sportsman. However, when he loses, he tends to attribute the loss to himself - which given that he is perhaps the greatest tennis player of all time, is not unreasonable, but it is statements such as his dismissal of his losses to Murray that grate; 'injuries', 'playing terribly himself', 'doesn't count if it's not in a five-set contest'. It's not just Murray that he's talked about in this way either - his comments about Wawrinka after the Olympics weren't particularly pleasant either to name but one example. Accepting that the opponent played better is something that Nadal is far better at, and I think Federer could learn to become a better loser.

    As for tomorrow's game, it's a very tough one to call indeed. Before 2008's US Open final, I was willing Federer to beat Djokovic as Murray's H2H was far better against Federer than Djokovic. I think it was more a lack of rest than nerves that lost Murray that match (and the scheduling was frankly ridiculous). Murray has the brain and the game to beat Federer, but Federer is playing brilliantly himself. I couldn't even begin to predict a final score or which way the match will go, so I will conclude by saying that I love watching Murray play and he has my firm support.

  • Comment number 71.

    Too close to call really. If Andy can start making the angles early in each rally with some aggressive shots he has a great chance of beating Federer. But Federer hits his ground shots harder, so Andy's first serve percentage has to be at the least about 70.

    Andy is quicker around the court and although Federer is no slouch, I think he would struggle just like Nadal did before he got injured. If there are a couple of key points that go Andy's way like in the Cilic match, that could also decide the winner. If the crowd are roused this will also help Andy.

    As to the comments made to the press I sincerely doubt if either player has taken a blind bit of notice. Both men are intelligent: I mean we are not talking about Carlos Tevez Of Man City and Neville of Man United, are we? The press are trying to sell more newspapers after all.

    I am looking forward to a cracking match, and I hope Federer will be man enough to spare us the waterworks if he loses.

  • Comment number 72.

    Murray in four ...perhaps even three. People underestimate Federer's NEED to win this match ...remember the old cowboy movies with the 'fastest gun in the west' theme? Murray 'chose' Federer for this final .....he's not simply 'ready' ...he's been 'waiting' and practising and rehearsing

  • Comment number 73.

    i keep reading that Federer is the best player of all time and i am not sure where this accolade comes from. As with all spots, the most recent players are better than the earlier players because each time, someone raises the bar to beat a better opponent. Federer would beat all the players before his time just as Murray will become better than Federer was because he has to to beat him.
    i would say Federer has raised the bar higher than anyone except Rod Laver. Laver raised the bar by huge margins and on two seprate eras. If he hadn't stopped entering slams at his very peak (age 24-29) he would have a superior record to Federer. Remenber, he has won two real grand slams whilst Federer has only just completed a questionable grand slam and that was due to injury to his nemesis. Laver had no nemeses and he was significantly more modest than Federer.

  • Comment number 74.

    I think Murray should rightly discard the US Open '08 experience in the final against Federer.

    Murray was tired, exhausted and clearly affected by nerves in reaching his first major final. Federer upped his game on the night, and played some of the best tennis he had played in months.

    I don't think that experience will have much of an effect on Murray's mindset approaching the match.

    If Federer and Murray both play at the top of their respective games, Federer will come out on top, probably in 4 or 5 tight sets, as Federer's best supercedes everyone else's best, including Murray's.

    I'm also hoping those subtle jibes thinly disguised as compliments from the maestro yesterday give Murray that extra motivation needed, if he ever needed it to begin with.

    People expecting an easy 3 set victory for Federer are living in dreamland, based on the form of both at the moment. Their games are well matched, and provided both come to the party, should be tight sets all the way through.



  • Comment number 75.

    Barbara Hall, He is clearly not as fluent and natural in French as he is in English. This is no surprise, considering not only that it is his mother's native tongue, but the fact that he spends his life travelling the world, spending most of the year in coutries where English is the predominant language. Even in some other countries where it is not the first language, it is widely spoken and is the one spoken among foreign players like himself while attending tournaments.

  • Comment number 76.

    Re 73--

    "laver had no nemesis" Doesn't that make Federer's achievements more impressive, the fact he has still managed to amass this amount of grand slam titles with someone like Rafael Nadal on the scene? And young guys coming through like Djokovic Del Potro and Murray?

    It's getting harder for someone to be dominant these days but he keeps on winning at least 1 per year!

  • Comment number 77.

    Just as an aside .....I think it's foolish to dismiss the fact that Murray got to number two in the world and did NOT have the 2000 point cushion of a Grand Slam win ...it took consistently impressive play over months to achieve that position and I believe was all part of the build -up to Murray the player today. We don't KNOW how good a player Murray is yet ...his best is to come ....which gives him the edge ...because Federer has reached his peak. Federer is the best in the world today but I think he'd better savour it ...

  • Comment number 78.

    I don't understand the comments about the English not supporting the rest of Britain when we're good at something. Average Joe doesn't pick whether Murray plays for Scotland, England or Britain, just like I don't choose whether there is an England team or a Britain team in Football.

    Everyone I know that supports Murray does it because he is British and because he is an exceptional, exciting tennis player. If he represented Scotland I would still cheer him on. You can't blame the English for supporting England.

    Anyway, re the match tomorrow, I can't wait! I think Federer will win, but hopefully Murray will push him all the way and it can be an epic final. If Murray wins I'll be really happy for him, as it would be a fantastic achievement. You can read all you like into past stats, but it could go either way.



  • Comment number 79.

    #15 and others: So, Fed is arrogant, past it, cocky etc etc etc???

    I'm sorry, but some people need to have a reality check. We have been lucky to be able to watch the finest player ever in his prime. Sure, he's not as good as he was in 2005, but the fact that he is still #1 just shows how flippin good he is.

    Cocky, arrogant? The guy is confident and he has every right to be. You don't become the best player in the world without a hefty dose of self-belief and yes, this comes out in his press conferences. But there's no trash-talking and he is respectful to his opponents. He might get the odd dig in but I think this only occurs when he has genuine respect for his opponent. Anyway, this is the case in most sports.

    Personally I don't care who wins - as long as its a great match I'll be happy.

  • Comment number 80.

    Murray had a VERY easy draw, in the final analysis. Nadal was injured and Cilic (seeded 14) was exhausted after three five set matches. So who else did he beat?

    -----------------------------

    In the 2008 US Open Murray came from 2 sets behind, and a match point agaisnt Melzer, followed that up with a thrashing of Wawrinka, overcame Del Potro in 4 in the Q/F and was still fit enough to out hit Nadal in the S/F.

    Point being, Murray has played what was put in front of him, he couldn't have done any better. Nadal was also injured in the 3rd set, so in less you feel Nadal would have pulled it back but for that injury it is not much to go by.

    Think it is also worth mentioning Federer failed to beat Nadal last year despite Nadal's 5 hour match with Verdesco in the S/F,

  • Comment number 81.

    The usual 'Fed is God' sycophantic stuff, eh Jonathan??

    So if Federer "plays as well as he can" he wins does it?? What a revelation. Problem is Federer hasn't played as well as he can since around 2006

    That's why his 5 out of the last 8 Slam defeats have all come against his Top 5 rivals. Indeed the only Top 5 rival he's beaten was a knackered Murray at New York

    I actually do think that Fed is the favourite, but do you think we could have a little bit more thought into such a discussion. A bit less "Fed is omnipresent" and more respect to his very good rivals. Try listening to the likes of Willander and Cash for a less "Fed is wondrous" viewpoint

    And one final thing, anyone else coming out with the tired old mind games Federer uses against Murray (and Djokovic) TIME and TIME again, wouldn't be held up as the Saint you ALWAYS portray him

    Needless to say, I won't be watching the Beeb for this match. Every time Federer does a good shot, it'll be stomach churning to hear the smarm he gets from the Beeb team

    Glad to see Murray knows the first set isn't vital. He's a notoriously slow starter and Fed's a notoriously quick one - so as long as he's not outplayed in this set, he will have a very good chance, because Fed does not like good players coming back at him

  • Comment number 82.

    These 2 guys couldn't be more evenly matched. both players are at opposite end of their peak and if they play to the best of their abilities( which i think they will) we will see some of the best tennis to date.
    The variety of shots these guys have in their repertoire are second to none and they will throw everything at each other (including the kitchen sink). The game will start off flat and i think Murray will wobble to start with but as the nerves settle and the tempo rises we'll see aggressive and gutsy tennis.

    Federer is without a shadow of a doubt the greatest tennis player we've ever seen and he'll will want to add another feather to his cap and really put the nail in the coffin when it comes being 'the all time great'. Murray will have other ideas..

    federer's experience of 15 wins out of 22 grand slam finals to Murray's no wins out of 2 will surely give him the edge. His composure and consistency along with his outstanding ability has made him almost unbreakable and has shattered many a players' dreams.

    But forget the stats, this game will come down to desire.

    Federer is like a tiger in the jungle only thinking of his next scalp working relentlessly with total disregard to his prey.

    As for Murray, he is 15 years years in the making and just like federer, he lives and breaths tennis. There's only one thing on this guys mind and that's to become world number 1 and, he will stop at nothing to achieve it. He will be like a crocodile that hasn't been fed for 9 months anticipating a long awaited meal so if Federer as so much lets his foot of the gas , Murray will eat him alive.
    It will be a tug of war of the minds but whatever happens we're in for some unbelievable tennis.

    Who do i think will win? Murray of coarse. I have to say that. I'm a brit!

  • Comment number 83.

    Federer's comment about Murray having pressure this time as he reached a final before and lost doesn't ring true to me. I'd have thought that would have spurred Murray on rather than anything else. If he loses this time, however, it would be more of a valid point.

  • Comment number 84.

    I have not seen Murray play in Australia but he is going to have to be on top form to beat Federer.

    Federer played better than I have seen for a while against Tsonga - however Murray has a good record against Federer so I'll keep my tenner in my wallet.

    Should be a great match, I am really looking forward to it

  • Comment number 85.

    As much as I adore Federer, I want Murra to wi it and it will be a very good game tomorrow with Murray, trying to break Federer's reign as King of the Tennis Courts. Murray has been on top form all season and you have to give credit to him for getting this far, but as far as Im concerned, it will be a tough game to predict who will win.

    Go Murray!!!!!

  • Comment number 86.

    #2 - "if he wants to win"

    What do you mean? Does anyone ever go into a match not wanting to win?!

  • Comment number 87.

    Smug & arrogant or humble & likeable, Federer can be all of these things, but it doesn't really matter as he's earned the right to be whatever he feels like because he's probably the best tennis player ever.

    However, as much as I love watching Federer, it's so refreshing to have a British player that really is capable of taking him on and having a real chance of beating him (though Henman did have his moments at Wimbledon!). My head says Federer will just be too good, but Murray does have a realistic chance if he plays well.

    And thanks to Federer trying to put the pressure on with his "no British slam winner for about 150,000 years" jibe (yes I know it was a comment made in fun), I'm sure Murray will have a few more British supporters tomorrow morning!

  • Comment number 88.

    c`mon andy ... do it for scotland!!

  • Comment number 89.

    FED to win.
    Murray is so Dull!

  • Comment number 90.

    Dear Sports editor,
    After a long spell, i am in BBC Sports page.I am a tennis lover.I am a ardent fan of Roger.That does not mean that, I do not write or like of Andy Murray!s games in any tennis courts.I wrote of his contributions,his lovely actions in US,and in other world famous tennis games.
    Andy also a very great,upcoming player on many accounts.
    His previous occasions are memorable.
    This Australian open final between Andy and Roger will be a tough and not easy to predict who will clinch the cup.
    Roger is my face book friend.
    Now,both are great in their sports fields.
    Let us watch,enjoy their final game from BBC live relay,then, we will have a balance views of greatness and weakness of these world giants in tennis field.
    Your writings of these players are really interesting and lovely to comment too.
    Best wishes to Roger and to Andy.

  • Comment number 91.

    Tell Wallace

    Wee Willie Tell from the Swiss Alps faces off against William Wallace from the Scottish Highlands. They stand there, eye-to-eye, toe-to-toe, unflinching, unyielding. Who will blink first?

    Tell takes the struggle to Wallace, launches a fearsome attack with his Swiss Army knife, trips over the net, stabs the cork-screw into the court. Wallace steps forwards, 8 foot Claymore held aloft – 1-0 to the Scot.

    Tell gathers himself, declares in his best Monty Python voice, “It was only a flesh wound!” launches a volley of apples at the head of the mighty Wallace. Like a boxer, the giant Scotsman deftly ducks and dodges Tell’s barrage of Granny Smiths’. Except for one – b’doyng!! Apple right on the napper! Willie Tell levels the match.

    Wallace regroups. A quick change of his kilt has all the women onlookers fainting. Tell sees his chance to take the lead and, with his trusty crossbow in hand, fires a bolt of lightning at the unsuspecting Wallace who is still busily pleating his plaid. “Ouch!” Wallace howls, clutching his rear end. The Swiss warrior takes the lead – 2-1.

    But Wallace has been here before. He knows what it takes to yank an arrow out of his rear! That time with that Plantagenet chappie and his array of Welsh longbows at Stirling Bridge. For sure that was a sore one. But Wallace had learned well from that rear-end experience – and knew exactly what to do this time. He spies Willie Tell charging towards the net. Wallace screams into himself, “Hold!” And again. “Hooold!” Tell is like a possessed devil, charging towards Wallace, cuckoos on his mind and Heidi in his heart. “Hoooooooold!” Tell has reached Wallace’s lines and suddenly, from nowhere, a vicious throw of the Scotsman’s Skean Dhu cuts the net cord, tripping Tell over and sending the plucky Alpiner skiing homewards to think again – 2-2.

    This is a war of attrition now. Both warriors have acquitted themselves well, given their everything. But only one will survive. Wallace feels as if he’s just been hung drawn and quartered. Tell is drowning in self-doubt – and not a little blood, sweat and tears. Wallace gathers himself for one final, almighty effort, screams into himself, “C’mooooonnnn!! FOR MURRAN (and maybe a wee bit of freedom too)!” Likewise, Tell-boy tells himself to keep going, “For the Twins! For the Twins!” Jedward squeak their approval from the stand. Now if they just had apples on their heads instead of pineapples!

    Tell goes on the offensive, blasts Wallace with everything he has – apples, oranges, cannon balls, cuckoo clocks. At one point he’s even lobbing some tennis balls such is the bizarre nature of this contest!! By now there’s not a whole lot left of the battlefield. But Wallace stands tall, resolute, firm. There is now a quiet assurance about the Scots warrior and it is not without good reason for he knows he has kept his secret weapon till last!!

    Poor Tell-boy - he had no idea that such a weapon even existed. It all seemed to be going so well too – except the one Granny Smith he missed and accidentally rendered unconscious some poor bloke who was watching the battle from the relative comfort and safety (or so he thought) of his deckchair. Of all the places to put a deckchair!! The middle of a battlefield!! Come on!

    Wallace saw his chance. Tell was almost dead on his feet. Surely one last, supreme effort would take him out. And that’s when Willie Wallace raised the curtain, kilt akimbo, “C’moooooooonnnnnnnn!”

    Tell has no reply. Awestruck, he collapses. 3-2 to the Scots legend.

    And the rest, as they say, is history.

  • Comment number 92.

    Tough game for sure.
    Andy is tactically skilled and hits well off both wings. He defends well, and is sometimes better than Nadal(the injury hit version). Does cool improvisations too. Does he handle pressure well? His record in slams doesn't speak much.
    Federer is pure instinct. That's it. But he's sure vulnerable to sustained pressure on his backhand(still!). If Andy is half the thinker he is, he'll press Federer's backhand and exploit it... if the Fed allows it.

    Winner Murray would run relentlessly, serve solid, and press the backhand.

    Loser Murray would play finesse tennis, 'changing the pace of the ball', 'lengthen rallies' etc. That's the sort of game that Federer loves to chew.. and blast to pieces.

    In the end, it's Federer's match to lose. The guy's got too much stuff. But while he is strong, he's not the strongest, as Nadal has shown us. And he was smug on that day.

    Federer's shot his mouth off. He must win, else I fear for his reception at Wimbledon. I'm very appreciative of the British sporting crowd -very sporting- but they heckle boors, the so-called practitioners of 'mental battles', even if it's their own(Douglas Jardine).

  • Comment number 93.

    This might be a BBC supported website, but the attention paid to Murry is OTT.

    He has a chance, but we all know that is RF plays anywhere near his best, he will win.

    Keep it even BBC!!!

  • Comment number 94.

    Forget the head to head. Forget the 2008 US open final. Forget that, because Federer is the elder statesman, at 28, he's somehow in decline (he surely may be, but he is excited about playing in London in 2012 - and therefore isn't quite over the hill yet!).

    Murray forewent his defence of his Doha title (which he was defending for the second time) to be ready for this tournament, and, given that he's in the final surely justifies that decision.

    He (Murray) has to my mind been better tested to en route to the final than Federer.

    Isner is no pushover. He beat Nadal (who wasn't injured until near the end, but beaten anyway) and comfortably took out Cilic when plan A didn't seem to be working.

    Federer, on the other hand, won easily against a capitulating Davydenko, and again, against a Tsongs who wasn't really at the races.

    Both men are fit and not overly troubled by their routes to the final, but if Andy can stay focussed, avoid the wobbles that Federer will punish more than anyone else would, and try to get under the skin of "the Swiss maestro", then anything is possible.

    The US Open final is fresh in my mind (I was there - supporting Federer, or Murray - although Murray didn't make it) and it shows that Federer can be beaten.

    I remember Basel also (although I live in Zurich, I couldn't make it to Basel!) where Federer lost to Djokovic, and was awful.

    He's not infallible. He's human. And so is Murray.

    May the best man win.

    C'mon Andy!

  • Comment number 95.

    Agree with everyone above who consider Federer smug, arrogant, etc. I've never been a fan of Andy either (the constant talk of his chances of winning his maiden Grand Slam title in a build-up to every major for the last two years made me see red)... but only until this year's Australian Open. His game became a revelation to me and now I'm his big admirer and think he's the favourite for tomorrow's final. He may even win in straight sets.

  • Comment number 96.

    Re Callyismagic - what a pleasure to read that someone else shares my feelings for Roger. He needs to be brought down to earth and I am hoping that Andy will do it tomorrow.

  • Comment number 97.

    Meninwhitecoats...

    Quote: "I have not seen Murray play in Australia but he is going to have to be on top form to beat Federer.

    Federer played better than I have seen for a while against Tsonga - however Murray has a good record against Federer so I'll keep my tenner in my wallet."
    _____________________________________________________________________

    Tsonga was guff in the semi with Federer. I could have beat Tsonga in that match!

  • Comment number 98.

    #93 Fed_Borg...

    Is that you getting your excuses in early for Federer? When Federer loses, you will then say he didn't play at his best?

    Like I said earler... Andy in straight sets, watch this space!

    *wink*

  • Comment number 99.

    Toblerone over Murraymint everytime!

  • Comment number 100.

    This is the first time a British player appears that they could win a Grand Slam - and for once (in the last 15 years of following bbc) I agree with the Beeb's hype around a British player.

 

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