Tennis: Andy Murray said he expects a “painful” Australian Open final against Novak Djokovic on Sunday after finally beating Roger Federer in a grand slam.
US Open champion Murray battled past Swiss legend Federer 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-2 in the semi-final before turning his attentions to Djokovic, saying: “I will have to play my best tennis to win it. I’ll have to be ready for the pain. I hope it’s a painful match because that means it will be a good one.”
Murray, who ended his wait for a grand slam title at Flushing Meadows last year, believes his breakthrough win in the US was crucial to today’s win.
The Scot had lost the fourth set despite having an opportunity to serve for the match and he said: “When you lose the fourth set having served for it, maybe 18 months ago I wouldn’t have come back from that so I think mentally I’ve probably become stronger because of the results at the end of last year.
“I don’t think loads has changed in my game, I just think understanding what I need to do in the important moments.”
Federer was gracious in defeat. “Definitely it was more of a chase,” said the Swiss, who was, at various times in the match, down 1-0 and 2-1 on sets. “I think I had my chances a little bit. Obviously you’re going to go through a five-setter with some regrets. But overall, I think Andy was a bit better than I was tonight.”
Defending champion Victoria Azarenka plays sixth-seeded Li Na of China for the women’s singles title early this morning. Li lost the Australian Open final to Kim Clijsters in 2011 two months before winning her first and only Grand Slam at the French Open.
“Last time was more exciting, (more) nervous because it was my first time to be in a final,” Li said. “But I think this time (I’m) more calmed down, more cool.”
Azarenka leads 5-4 in career matches, including the last four times they’ve played.