Murray edges Federer, reaches Australian final

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 25, 2013 at 11:29 am •  Published: January 25, 2013
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Murray said while the outburst didn't "rattle" him, it might have helped Federer get back in the match.

"I think he raised his game, and that's what happens," he said. "Sometimes guys need to get emotion into the match. He definitely raised his level ... in that game I think he hit two balls onto the line and was extremely aggressive after that."

Asked again what Federer had said, Murray reiterated he didn't feel it was "relevant."

"I'm sure Roger won't talk about it and I have no interest in discussing it either, because, like I say, it happens all the time," he said. "People will want to make a big deal of it and it isn't really a big deal.

"It's a very late finish, I'm tired. I don't want to be wasting any energy, because I'll need all of it if I want to win against Novak on Sunday."

With a capacity crowd of 15,000 at Rod Laver Arena watching, including the Australian legend Laver himself, Federer opened the match serving and was in trouble early, losing a 28-rally point to set up break point for Murray. But Federer held the game with a stunning cross-court forehand that just looped over the net from the baseline.

Murray, who had not lost a set through five rounds at Melbourne Park this year, had the first service break — on his fourth break point — to lead 2-1. It came in unusually cool summer conditions in Melbourne — breezy and temperatures of only 60 degrees during most of the match.

The crowd was initially evenly split between Federer and Murray supporters — and at times, they were competing to be heard. At one point in the second set, a group of Murray fans wearing white shirts with blue letters spelling his nickname "Muzza" stood to chant Murray's name, while a group of Federer supporters with Swiss flags on their cheeks and shirts chanted Federer's name.

Earlier Friday, top-seeded Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy won the first title of 2013 at Melbourne Park, beating the unseeded Australian pair of Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 for the women's doubles championship.

The 16-year-old Barty was attempting to become the youngest Grand Slam champion since Martina Hingis won the Australian Open singles title in 1997.

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 winning the last four times they've played.

"I'm really hungry to defend my title," Azarenka said. "I've put myself in the position to give it the best shot."