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Roger Federer to face Andy Murray in Melbourne final

AUSTRALIAN OPEN FINAL - Murray v Federer
Venue: Melbourne Park Date/time: 0830 GMT, Sun 31 January
BBC coverage: Live on BBC One, HD, BBC Sport website and BBC Radio 5 live. Highlights on BBC One on Sunday at 2255 GMT

Roger Federer
Federer was always in complete control as he booked his place in Sunday's final

By Chris Bevan

Roger Federer brushed aside a subdued Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2 6-3 6-2 to set up a clash with Andy Murray in Sunday's final of the Australian Open.

The world number one had few problems in seeing off the erratic Frenchman, taking only 88 minutes to wrap up what was a one-sided semi-final.

Federer took control early in the match and there was no way back for Tsonga, who seemed a shadow of his usual self.

The Swiss star served supremely but, in truth, he was hardly tested.

Murray will hold realistic hopes of doing far better than the 10th seed managed but this match still gave the Scot a stark reminder of the task he faces as he looks to secure his first Grand Slam title.

606: DEBATE
Biscuits

Federer, a three-time champion at Melbourne Park who is into his 22nd Grand Slam final, was always expected to have too much in his armoury for the charismatic Tsonga but the ease of his victory was still surprising.

He broke for the first time to move 3-1 up in the first set and kept his opponent's serve under almost constant pressure throughout, going through the full repertoire of his shots to leave Tsonga in knots.

Tsonga, who had come through five-set matches with Nicolas Almagro and Novak Djokovic to reach this stage, continued to struggle and was broken again as Federer wrapped up the first set in just 31 minutes.

That set the tone for the rest of the match, with Tsonga undone by a series of unforced errors and some lethargic serving which saw him broken five times in total.

"What was wrong? My serve," Tsonga said. "I think I was at 50 or 55% of first serves in and the speed of my serving was also poor. Also, I missed some volley at the beginning of the match and after that it was tough.

"He took the ball earlier than me, and he was just better than me. Today he was really good."

In contrast, Federer's own delivery was almost faultless, and he conceded just 15 points in his 13 service games, denying the 2008 runner-up even a sniff of a response.

"I'm very happy to be through," Federer said afterwards.

I will have to be aggressive. We've had some different types of matches against each other. Definitely it will be tactical. It is always a tactical game against him

Roger Federer on playing Andy Murray in the Australian Open final

"It is always difficult to play top players, sometimes it plays out the way you want it to and sometimes you have to work a lot harder.

"It was just so important to win that first set and get that good start.

"I thought it was quite intense early but maybe he was more fatigued mentally than physically, I think that showed near the end."

Federer, chasing his 16th Grand Slam title, expects a tougher time against Murray in the final and is well aware of Britain's 74-year wait for a male major winner.

"I know that he'd like to win the first title in British tennis in, what is it 150,000 years?" the 28-year-old joked.

"It would be so nice for him. He's a nice guy.

"I will have to be aggressive. We've had some different types of matches against each other. We sometimes like to jerk around on the court and play some high balls at each other.

"Definitely it will be tactical. It is always a tactical game against him."



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see also
Federer v Tsonga as it happened
29 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Murray's route to final pictures
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Federer piles pressure on Murray
29 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Australian Open day 12 photos
29 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Robson breezes into junior final
29 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Murray powers into Aussie final
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Murray v Cilic as it happened
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Murray through after Nadal injury
26 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Tennis


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