Federer, Murray to meet in Aussie semis

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Updated: January 23, 2013

Four-time champion Roger Federer and
two-time runner-up Andy Murray will clash in a marquee semifinal Friday at the
Australian Open.

Wednesday’s quarterfinals in Melbourne saw the second-seeded Federer outlast
seventh seed and 2008 runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 7-6 (7-4),
3-6, 6-3 in the nightcap, while a third-seeded Murray charged past unseeded
Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 at Rod Laver Arena.

The former world No. 1 Federer is the reigning Wimbledon champion who last
titled in Melbourne three years ago, while Murray is the reigning U.S. Open
champ who lost in back-to-back Aussie finals in 2010 and 2011.

Federer and Murray will square off in two days, while the other men’s semi
will pit current world No. 1 Novak Djokovic against fourth seed David Ferrer
on Thursday. Djokovic has won the last two titles here and was also the Aussie
Open champion in 2008.

The 17-time men’s Grand Slam king Federer reached his 10th straight Aussie
semi by holding off a game Tsonga. The super Swiss is now 9-3 lifetime versus
Tsonga, including 3-1 in Grand Slam action. Federer also beat Tsonga in
an Aussie Open semifinal in 2010.

Federer snuck past Tsonga despite striking only six aces, compared to 20 for
the match loser. Tsonga also recorded more service breaks than Federer (5-4)
and more winners 66-49, but when the Day-10 smoke cleared, the Swiss master
landed on top, as he so often does.

The two stars were embroiled in a tight battle through four sets, but Federer
took charge in the fifth by running out to a 4-1 lead. He would hold on from
there to set-up the much-anticipated battle with Murray.

Murray thoroughly dominated Chardy on Wednesday and has yet to drop a set at
this Down Under fortnight.

The British star raced out to a 4-0 lead in the opening set. Chardy earned a
break while winning the next three games before Murray regained control and
never looked back.

“I started the match pretty well I thought,” Murray said. “Then when he got a
break back in the first set, I became a bit tight.”

The 25-year-old Murray committed just three unforced errors while taking the
second set in 32 minutes. He needed only 35 more minutes to reach his 12th
Grand Slam semifinal.

“I’ve done a good job so far in this tournament. I can’t be disappointed with
where my game’s at,” Murray said.

Murray shrugged off comments by the British media that he was upset with an
almost full schedule of day matches, while Federer was given cooler night
slots at Laver.

“The scheduling for me is part and parcel of playing in really any tennis
tournament,” Murray said. “It’s tough to make the schedule perfect for every
single player.”

Murray will face Federer for a 20th time, with the British star leading their
lifetime series, 10-9. Murray, however, has never beaten Federer at a Grand
Slam event (0-3).

On Thursday, the five-time major titlist Djokovic will meet Ferrer for a 15th
time, with the Serbian star holding a 9-5 lifetime series lead. Djokovic beat
Ferrer in the quarterfinals here a year ago and in 2008. The Serb is 4-0 in
their career Grand Slam encounters.