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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 January, 2005, 13:59 GMT
Gamewatch: Federer v Safin
Result: Federer 7-5 4-6 7-5 6-7 (6-8) 7-9 Safin

All the action as Marat Safin beats Roger Federer in five sets to make his third Australian Open final.


Fifth set:

Federer 7-9 Safin
Safin opens up with a tremendous forehand return and drives the ball at a stranded Federer to make it 0-30. Federer hits back but Safin then 'yorks' Federer for two more match points. Federer aces his way out of the first hole, but Safin puts away his seventh match point to win through to his third Australian Open final.

Federer 7-8 Safin
Safin puts the disappointment of the previous game behind him to win the game to 15, wrapping up the end with a fine cross-court forehand.

Federer 7-7 Safin
The fiery Safin scraps his way to 15-40 and match point but blasts a wild forehand long. Having saved another two match points, Federer then produces a series of fine serves to draw level again.

Federer 6-7 Safin
Safin again falls 0-30 behind but drags his way back. Federer slices a divine backhand down the line to create break point but balloons a forehand long. The Swiss then blows the game with a wild backhand.

Federer 6-6 Safin
Federer produces some solid serving and digs out a fine volley off his toes to win the game and draw level.

Federer 5-6 Safin
The pressure looks to be getting to Safin as he falls 0-30 behind, but he grazes the sideline with a stinging backhand to make it 30-30 and pulls out a big serve to edge ahead.

Federer 5-5 Safin
Safin whips a fine cross-court forehand to make it 30-30 and then steers home a backhand return for his third match point. However, again Safin is unable to put Federer away and somehow the defending champion holds.

Federer 4-5 Safin
Safin blows two match points before Federer produces a magnificent cross-court backhand to set up break point. Safin blasts back and takes the next point with a sweet backhand. But Federer finally manages to break Safin's serve when the Russian tamely wafts a backhand wide.

Federer 3-5 Safin
Safin continues to outhustle Federer from the baseline - but Federer produces a sublime running backhand lob to wrest the advantage and hold his serve.

Federer 2-5 Safin
Safin slams in an ace to take the game and put himself to within one game of the final. Federer looks visibly shaken.

Federer 2-4 Safin
Safin, looking bullish, breaks the Federer serve and looks favouirite at this stage to win the match. Federer still looks to be hampered by his back injury.

Federer 2-3 Safin
Federer continues to put pressure on Safin but the Russian produces a delightful stop volley en route to another hold of serve.

Federer 2-2 Safin
The Swiss player cruises through his service game to love despite his continuing back trouble.

Federer 1-2 Safin
Federer wins the best baseline rally of the match to earn a break point but cannot convert it - or the next one. Safin remains strong to hold his serve.

Federer 1-1 Safin
Federer levels things, a Safin forehand just missing the sideline to gift the game to Federer.

Federer 0-1 Safin
Following a long break during which Federer receives treatment to his lower back and right arm, Safin takes the first game of the deciding set to love.


Fourth set:

Federer 6-7 (6-8) Safin
Federer produces a magical drop shot to move 4-1 ahead and a backhand winner on return gives him a crucial 5-2 lead. Safin hits back with two breaks of his own before another superb drop shot gives Federer match point. A spectacular rally ends with Federer hitting the net and Safin levels with a big forehand and a Federer error.

Federer 6-6 Safin
Safin has already lost two sets by dropping serve in the 12th game and looked in danger again when Federer took the first point, but the Russian held his nerve to force the tie-break.

Federer 6-5 Safin
The crowd clearly wants a fifth set but Federer remains focused and takes the game to 15.

Federer 5-5 Safin
Safin wins a brilliant opening point with a cross-court forehand winner from out wide after being moved all over the court by Federer, and the Russian holds to love.

Federer 5-4 Safin
Federer drops the first point but then takes four in a row, and Safin must hold serve to keep the match alive.

Federer 4-4 Safin
Federer puts the pressure on again with two blistering backhand winners but Safin pulls out all the stops to hold, finishing with a drive volley.

Federer 4-3 Safin
The games are getting tighter as the set goes on and the stakes get higher but Federer comes through his service game by winning a neat exchange at the net.

Federer 3-3 Safin
Federer has half a chance at 30-30 but nets a forehand and Safin makes him pay with a punishing backhand in the following point.

Federer 3-2 Safin
Federer raises a laugh in the crowd by finishing yet another easy service game with a punched forehand at the net that wrong-foots Safin.

Federer 2-2 Safin
Safin powers into the net to clinch another love service game with a head-height volley.

Federer 2-1 Safin
Federer races through a love game even quicker than Safin and both players appear keen to get into the heart of the set.

Federer 1-1 Safin
Safin has no problem holding to love.

Federer 1-0 Safin
Federer keeps the pressure on with a service hold but the atmosphere is muted as both players struggle to find any rhythm.


Third set:

Federer 7-5 Safin
Safin smashes his racket as Federer gets to 15-40 but saves the first set point with a backhand winner and looks certain to save the second when he puts a simple forehand long.

Federer 6-5 Safin
Federer guarantees at least a tie-break with a love service game that prompts Safin to try and smash a ball out of the Rod Laver Arena.

Federer 5-5 Safin
Federer hauls himself back to deuce from 40-15 down but Safin finds a big serve and a smash to level.

Federer 5-4 Safin
Federer faces two break points but finds his best form to produce a backhand volley and a forehand winner.

Federer 4-4 Safin
Safin is in trouble at 30-30 and Federer finds a massive forehand winner to set up the break chance, but he sends a backhand wide and Safin holds.

Federer 4-3 Safin
Federer moves back in front with a better service game but both players continue to look edgy with the match in the balance. Federer is trying to take the intitiative by attacking the net more than Safin but cannot cut out the unforced errors.

Federer 3-3 Safin
Neither player is firing on all cylinders at the moment and with the scores level, the chance is there for one of them to take charge.

Federer 3-2 Safin
A loose forehand brings the first racket-throw of the day from Safin but the Russian recovers his cool to earn a break point. Federer storms to the net and produces an unplayable angled backhand volley, but two points later Safin makes him pay with another backhand down the line to break back.

Federer 3-1 Safin
The pressure is now on Safin as Federer attacks the net behind his return and forces deuce with the biggest forehand of the day, but two backhand errors put Safin on the board.

Federer 3-0 Safin
Federer races through his service game, which includes one magnificent volley off his toes, and things look ominous for Safin.

Federer 2-0 Safin
From out of nowhere Safin throws in a desperately poor game and hands the initiative back to Federer. After having Federer on the backfoot the Russian looks distraught to have undone all his hard work.

Federer 1-0 Safin
Federer fires down two aces but is still looking edgy when rallying from the baseline, hanging on to his serve unconvincingly.


Second set:

Federer 4-6 Safin
A nervous game from Safin sees him double fault to go to 30-30 but he dominates the following rally to give him set point, and converts with a delicate half-volley drop shot. It's the first time Federer has lost a set in the tournament.

Federer 4-5 Safin
Federer fires down his fastest serve of the match as he holds comfortably, and puts the pressure back on Safin.

Federer 3-5 Safin
At 30-30 Safin goes for an inviting forehand down the line but misses by an inch. On break point Federer gets a look at a cross-court forehand winner but pulls it wide and Safin gets out of trouble with a blistering backhand.

Federer 3-4 Safin
After several poor games Federer gets back on track with a decisive love service game, finished off with a punched backhand volley.

Federer 2-4 Safin
Safin moves clear again with a love game and Federer is really struggling to find any rhythm at the moment.

Federer 2-3 Safin
Federer stays in touch but is missing with more and more forehands and struggling to make any first serves.

Federer 1-3 Safin
Federer looks a little disconsolate and goes for some big forehands that miss the target as Safin holds.

Federer 1-2 Safin
A couple of sloppy points from Federer hand Safin two break points. The world number one saves the first with a service winner but Safin attacks the second and forces Federer out wide and into a backhand error.

Federer 1-1 Safin
Safin is made to work hard for every point as Federer proves he can scramble with the best of them, but the Russian levels.

Federer 1-0 Safin
Federer is visibly buoyed by taking the opening set and throws in two serve-volley points on his way to a love game.


First set:

Federer 7-5 Safin
Federer forces three set points with some superb rallying and scrambling from behind the baseline. Safin saves the first with a huge ace, Federer nets the return on the second, but Safin finally crumbles with a wild backhand on the third.

Federer 6-5 Safin
Safin blows a great chance at 0-30 up when he puts a straightforward forehand into the net and, as usual, Federer makes his opponent pay for failing to convert. Two spectacular Federer forehand winners help make the game safe.

Federer 5-5 Safin
Safin takes the lead in the shot-of-the-day competition with one outrageous backhand down the line from well outside the tramlines, and a tie-break is looking likely.

Federer 5-4 Safin
Federer is looking increasingly comfortable on serve and, while there is no break yet, he is slowly upping the pressure on Safin.

Federer 4-4 Safin
A poor forehand gives Federer the first break point of the match but Safin comes up with a big serve and goes on to hold.

Federer 4-3 Safin
Federer delivers the first special moment of the match with a half-volley backhand pass that leaves Safin stranded. The Russian hits back to reach 15-30 on second serve but buries his return into the net and the chance is missed.

Federer 3-3 Safin
Safin races through his service game as Federer makes just one return.

Federer 3-2 Safin
Two aces get Federer off to a typically smooth start and Safin is making no inroads with his return.

Federer 2-2 Safin
One floated Federer return is dispatched by Safin with the same venom that Pete Sampras used to muster for his overheads and the scores are level.

Federer 2-1 Safin
A love service game puts Federer back in front as Safin fails to find his range with a couple of big forehands.

Federer 1-1 Safin
Safin targets the Federer backhand but soon finds a pass fizzing down the line past him and is thankful for three surprising forehand errors from the Swiss.

Federer 1-0 Safin
Federer opens the serving and is embarrassed by one searing Safin backhand pass, but otherwise comes through unscathed.




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