Federer downs Murray, awaits Nadal

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MELBOURNE — Record Grand Slam champion Roger Federer set up an Australian Open semi-final with Rafael Nadal after beating Andy Murray in the last eight yesterday.

Supersport

The Swiss sixth seed downed the Wimbledon champion 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (6/8), 6-3 in three hours 20 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

Federer largely dominated the match and had two match points in a third-set tiebreaker, only for Murray to fight back and take the quarterfinal into a fourth set.

Murray fought off six break points in a titanic 19-minute service game in the fourth set, but was broken in the eighth game when Federer volleyed into an empty court.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion then served out for the match, winning it on his third overall match point to set up a keenly awaited date with his great rival Nadal tomorrow.

Following his victory, the Swiss legend, who trails Murray 11-10 head-to-head, is into his 11th consecutive semi-final.

Federer, who is working with Swedish six-time major-winner Stefan Edberg, looked mainly in confident touch and hit 54 winners with 42 unforced errors, along with four service breaks.

“I thought Andy did well, he kept the ball in play and put the pressure on me and unfortunately I couldn’t get it done in the third set, with either the serve or the forehand missing. So I am happy to get the win in four,” Federer said.