The 1st Thread/S-Thread For 1/25/13: The 2013 Australian Open Thread- Men's Semifinal #2 (Murray/Federer Pre-Match Runthrough)

Photo from Australian Open

Even without all members of the Big 4 in Melbourne this year, the Big 4 matches still live on with the men, as the Australian Open men's title will be determined as expected by Rafael Nadal's elite quartet brethren. 

Novak Djokovic is patiently awaiting, with the major advantage of thrashing David Ferrer once more in no time while having the crucial extra day rest that Roger Federer and Andy Murray won't have. In short, the world #1 would not feel bad at all if both men played a titanic 4-5 hour long epic. 

Although Federer claimed victory in their last match at the ultra fast ATP World Your Finals indoor court, their last standout contest really was the victory that changed Murray's career, the Olympic Final. Regardless of how much fatigue Federer had from surviving Juan Martin del Petro the round prior or if his back was truly ailing him, the Swiss legend still showed signs of winning that big match if Murray wasn't ready again.

As we all know, Murray was more than ready, and that amazing performance sprung to him now being an Olympic and Grand Slam champion. 

With full confidence to crush his forehand and belief in his 2nd serve, Murray is now sound enough in his offense to beat Federer in this match. But with his form a little unconvincing despite an easy draw, that could come back to haunt the Scot. However, Federer was extended to five sets by Jo Wilfred Tsonga in the quarterfinals. Even with his terrific conditions at his age, that battle with Tsonga could be the difference in him having enough energy to win in another encounter going the distance. 

The Keys to the Match: 

For Murray: 
1) Establish the forehand by having it be the biggest shot on the court 
2) Dominated with the first serve 
3) Be the aggressive closer at the beginning, may Roger press into mediocre approach shots. 
4) No dipage in form like first five rounds. 
5) Remember the Olympics. The rivalry has changed in best of 5. 

For Federer: 
1) Your conditioning is still world class, keep on believing in your movement. 
2) Stretch Murray to his backhand crosscourt to set up the inside-out forehand 
3) See if Murray can hit through you on his forehand
4) Be aggressive on Murray's 2nd serve to apply pressure 
5) Win this first set and get off to a fast start 

For the longest, I thought Murray would suffer from his shaky form while Federer impressive through a tough draw. But now, with the margins so thin amongst the Top 4, I favor Murray to get through this in four thrilling sets. 
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