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Page last updated at 11:52 GMT, Sunday, 31 January 2010

Andy Murray v Roger Federer as it happened


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By Caroline Cheese

1150: And that's it. Thanks a million for your company over the last two weeks. If you happen to be in Melbourne and you spot Andy Murray, give him a hug, would you? Two Grand Slam finals, two defeats by probably the best player in history. Chin up though. It's less than five months until Wimbledon...

1148: Now, if you want to see a masterclass from Roger Federer, tune into the Red Button or this website all day long for a re-run of the final. There will be highlights at 2255 GMT on BBC One later.

1145: Roger Federer's taking the Norman Brookes trophy for a spin around Rod Laver Arena. This is quite a contrast to this time 12 months ago. Andy Murray, meanwhile, can retreat into the shadows with his thoughts. He brought the best out of Federer today. Big mistake.

1140: World number one Roger Federer fondly kisses the trophy for the fourth time before taking to the mic... "Andy, well done for an incredible tournament. You're too good a player not to win a Grand Slam so don't worry about it. I'm over the moon, winning this again. I think I played some of the best tennis of my life again the last two weeks. This is also special because it's my first Grand Slam as a father. I'm looking forward to them watching me next year maybe."

1138: A massive cheer for runner-up Andy Murray as he picks up a large silver plate for his efforts. "Firstly congratulations Roger. His achievements in tennis are incredible. He was a lot better than me tonight, so well done. Thank you for your support. I loved every minute of it, and hopefully one time I can come back and win here..." Tears... "Sorry I couldn't do it for you tonight..." Oh no, more tears... "I can cry like Roger. It's just a shame I can't play like him."

1136: Geoff Pollard. That's the nice bloke from Tennis Australia. He's still going, congratulating 16-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer for mobilising the tennis community into raising over 650,000 Australian dollars for Haiti.

1135: "If we've seen today's champion in Roger Federer," says the nice bloke from Tennis Australia whose name escapes me. "We've seen tomorrow's champion in Andy Murray." That brings a smile to Murray's face, as the crowd cheer sympathetically.

From hariharan05 on Twitter: "Federer was just majestic, the way Murray played, he would've beaten almost any other player on the circuit, congrats Fed!"

Tim Henman on BBC One: "Federer is able to minimise the damage to his body because he is able to make his opponents do all the work. It really does point to the fact that he's going to be around for a few years yet."

1129: The presentation is about to get under way, both players standing with hands on hips as the sponsors have their say.

Boris Becker on BBC One: "We know he can get to semi-finals and finals, but he still expects opponents to lose. Murray has to be more aggressive with the few chances he has. That's what he has to work on."

1125: Too good. No tears from Roger. Not yet anyway. Andy Murray sits disconsolately in his chair, awaiting the ceremony he will probably want no part in. Federer was brilliant today. Murray was just short of his best, and couldn't take his chances.


Federer 6-3 6-4 7-6 (13-11) Murray
Fed with a second championship point at 10-9 after the deftest of drop volleys. Murray to serve. First one hits the net halfway up... Fed at the net with the court at his mercy and he goes for the drop volley. Big mistake. Murray gets there and prods it down the line, Fed appearing to leave it. It's well in. Massive roar from Murray - and the crowd - and after Fed finds the net he has another set point. Good serve from the world number one, and the return hits the net. Wrong-footing forehand from Fed and he has a third championship point. Surely now... Yes, he's done it. A tired Murray nets a backhand and Federer claims his fourth Australian Open title.

Federer 6-3 6-4 6-6 (9-9) Murray
Who wants this set? Fed now goes long with a routine forehand and Murray has another set point, but Fed to serve. First serve hits the net, second one in - and it's an EPIC rally. Unbelievable tension. A 23-shot rally, and Murray's in control again, stealing into the net but slicing the volley into the trams. Ace from Fed and all of a sudden, it's championship point... Another unbearably tense rally, Fed JUST missing with what would have been an astonishing forehand pass down the line. Back to 8-8 - and Federer's backhand finds the net. Murray with a fourth set point, but Fed hogs the net and Murray's lob goes wide. They're switching sides again at 9-9. I CAN'T STAND IT ANYMORE.

Federer 6-3 6-4 6-6 (6-6) Murray
Murray goes long with a routine backhand and Fed leads 4-3. Is the pressure telling? Ha. Maybe not. Murray swings at a forehand and drives it crosscourt for a magnificent winner. 4-4. Ace and he leads 5-4. So, so tense. Murray draws Fed into the net before passing him crosscourt- 6-4 and he has two set points. Fed finds an absurd angle on his forehand to save the first but now it's on Murray's racquet as he serves... he's in complete control of the point, with a short forehand to put away - but slaps it into the net. Argh. Agony agony agony.
Federer 6-3 6-4 6-6 (3-3) Murray
Murray opens with an ace, and after another long baseline rally, forces Fed to overcook a forehand to go 2-0 up with a mini-break. Return long makes it 2-1 for Murray. Crunching groundstrokes from Murray, really upping the pace and eventually Fed breaks down. It's 3-1 - but the mini-break disappears when he sprays a backhand into the trams. Fed holds his service point and they switch over at 3-3. Fed now four points from the title.

Federer 6-3 6-4 6-6 Murray
Fed swats away another glorious forehand winner to move to 40-0 before hammering down an ace. Tie-break it is...

Federer *6-3 6-4 5-6 Murray
Murray now trudging around like the weight of the world (or maybe 74 years of hurt) is on his shoulders - and it's another gruelling game. Stunning half-volley pick-up from Fed gets him back to deuce, Murray ending the point clutching his thigh again. Couple of deuces in the game, but Murray finally seals it with an ace, which is initially called wide but then corrected by good old Hawkeye. Tie-break at worst for Murray.

Federer 6-3 6-4 5-5* Murray
A smiley little girl in the crowd proudly holds up a 'Go Murray' banner for the camera. Has she seen the scoreboard? More frustration for Murray as he miscues a mid-court forehand, but Fed then puts a rather lazy drop-shot into the net to give his opponent a little sniff at 40-30. Serve/forehand does the trick though. Another big game coming up for Murray. Fed has won the last three.

Federer *6-3 6-4 4-5 Murray
Big Fed forehand, loose Murray backhand error. Fed's up 15-30. So tense. Murray peppers Fed's forehand corner and draws the error. 30-30. Fed pounces on a second serve, and Fed's return loops onto the edge of the line. Hawkeye challenge fails. 30-40 and it's break point, but Murray bangs down a big serve - and now another, but Fed gets this one back, and then drills a dipping backhand to force Murray to net a tricky half-volley. Another break point and this time Murray crumbles, netting a forehand. As you were.

Federer 6-3 6-4 3-5* Murray
Fed rattles through a perfect love service game to heap the pressure on Murray. The tension mounts...

John Lloyd on BBC One: "Federer's form has dipped. No question. He's started to make a few errors that we just didn't see in the first two sets. He's just proving he's actually human."

Federer *6-3 6-4 2-5 Murray
It's not often you see Fed grasping at thin air, but he's doing exactly that as Murray steps forward and hammers a rasping forehand onto the sideline. It's a big game, and Murray holds to 15, closing out with an ace. The momentum is with Murray... for now.

It's good news for a Briton
Federer 6-3 6-4 2-4* Murray
Fed's volley clips the top of the net... and drops his side. Murray has a 0-30 lead, and surely he's got to take one of these openings. That might help. Fed puts an easy forehand long and Murray has three break points. HE'S DONE IT! Fed gets first serves in on all three, but on the third, Murray has Fed scrambling at the net and though the world number one manages to pick up a couple of volleys, Murray eventually finds the pass - and roars his approval as the crowd rises to its feet.

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From Shannon, Rod Laver Arena, via text: "There's a lot of Aussies here cheering for Murray... not sure it is enough though."

Federer *6-3 6-4 2-3 Murray
Uh-oh. Murray grasping his right thigh now. He's in trouble too at 15-30, but he sends a rasping forehand into the corner to see off that danger. He doesn't ask for the trainer at the changeover, so hopefully not a serious problem.

Federer 6-3 6-4 2-2* Murray
Every Murray point is being cheered to the rafters, but he only gets one there. Easy enough hold.

Federer *6-3 6-4 1-2 Murray
Will the frustration get the better of Murray? No. He holds to love, finishing off with a satisfying ace down the 'T'.

Someone is having a tantrum
Federer 6-3 6-4 1-1* Murray
Murray works so, so hard to engineer a break point - his first since the first set. He sets up the point nicely, but as he goes to finish it off with a backhand down the line, he goes for too much and see the ball fly over the baseline. A furious Murray slams the court with his racquet. The door is quickly slammed shut again. Here's a good stat from TennisPublisher on Twitter: Rod Laver came from two sets down to win his first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in 1960, 50 years ago tomorrow.

Federer *6-3 6-4 0-1 Murray
Murray's first serve percentage has crept up to 54%, but when he doesn't get his first serve in, he's only winning 44% of the points. He lands a few in this game though as he holds to 15. The crowd will be firmly behind Murray now as they look to get a bit more value for money from their tickets, and there's an enthusiastic chant of "Let's go Andy, let's go" as the players change over.

Boris Becker on BBC One: "Federer is playing fantastic tennis and he's playing with magic - and that's what Murray is missing. The longer the match goes, the more confident Federer gets."

Federer 6-3 6-4 0-0* Murray
No chance for Murray. Fed's serve is firing and he quickly earns three set points. The Scot saves one when his forehand hits the net, making Fed mis-time his forehand, but the world number one gets his opponent out of position before delivering the final blow at the net.

Federer *6-3 5-4 Murray
"That was... a ridiculous forehand," splutters BBC One commentator John Lloyd. It was indeed. Murray doesn't seem to do much wrong, but sees a brutal forehand come flying past him, painting the line as it goes. It's the only point for Fed though and Murray can sit down and focus on this next must-win game.

Federer 6-3 5-3* Murray
Fed's sixth ace takes him to 40-0 and another serve out wide allows him to put away the volley. Quick service hold put the pressure right back on Murray.

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From Tj, Surrey, via text: "I am sorry to say this but Federer is the greatest athlete in the world in terms of dominating their sport, far greater than Woods, or Schumacher. Sure it would be nice to see Andy win and there is still a chance but to finish second to this man can hardly be considered losing."

Federer *6-3 4-3 Murray
Fed puts that last scrappy game firmly behind him, sending Murray scuttling this way and that as he dominates the points. Three more break points for the world number one. Saves one when Fed nets and then finds two big first serves when he needs them. Mis-timed forehand, leaving Murray grimacing, hands Fed another shot and he can't find a first serve this time - but Fed obliges by blasting a fairly-easy-for-him forehand over the baseline. Gutsy hold by Murray.

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From Carl, watching in bed, Blackpool, via text "Yes Fed is playing some ridiculously good stuff.. but Murray's serve has been ordinary at best so far."

Federer 6-3 4-2* Murray
Drop shot into the net, forehand miles over the baseline - and the familiar sound of a frustrated "nooo" from Andy Murray. But now a couple of rare errors from the Fedster, and it's 30-30. Tense, cagey rally - and that's agonising for Murray and his supporters. Fed's low, sliced backhand clips the net and falls apologetically over the net. It doesn't work a second time though, as his drop shot lands in the net. Two deuces, but Fed survives.

Federer *6-3 3-2 Murray
Fed is untouchable at the moment, and all Murray can do is hang in there and hope his level drops. Double faults will not help. His third of the evening give Fed two break points. But Murray sends an ace out wide, and now a brilliant backhand, leaving Fed wrong-footed. Murray is trying to gee himself up, while his support camp look on encouragingly. Two big serves and he's still in this.

Federer 6-3 3-1* Murray
Murray starting to look very irritated, the Scot angrily demanding his towel after missing a forehand pass. Careless forehand over the baseline allows Fed to move to game point, and the world number one nails another forehand winner into the corner to consolidate the break.

Federer *6-3 2-1 Murray
Murray lands a rare first serve, and steps in for a drive volley, but Fed anticipates and crunches a forehand crosscourt. He has three break points but he only needs one, as Murray is forced to net. Has he got another lucky white shirt? This one doesn't appear to be doing the trick. Fed is at the top of his game.

Federer 6-3 1-1* Murray
Strange final point there as Murray looks like he expects a Fed mis-hit to go long. It doesn't and Murray looks a but silly as he nonchalantly half-volleys the ball into the trams. The crowd are a bit quiet here. Murray could do with one of those moments of magic to set this final on fire.

Federer *6-3 0-1 Murray
Murray's got the lucky white shirt on - and it does the trick in that game as the world number four holds to 15. A rare comfortable service game.

From bryanthebong on Twitter: "The Fed has won 47 of 48 matches at the Australian Open when he's won the first set. I'm worried for Andy."

From mmfhennessy on Twitter: "Fed went and found his extra gear again there. Damn that extra gear."

Federer 6-3 0-0* Murray
Fed moves to 30-0 with an ace out wide, and now has two set points after just about finding both lines with a sweeping forehand into the corner. Murray tries one of those magical shots around the net post, but he's gone long and it's advantage Federer. Murray's first-serve percentage is 45%.

Federer *5-3 Murray
New balls, and a new shirt for Federer. Already? Not what you expect from the king of cool. Murray kicks off the game in disastrous fashion with a double fault, and now he's 0-30 down. Big serve down the middle - 130mph - and now a couple of huge forehands, stepping up the pace from inside the baseline. But Federer now takes a couple of steps and drills a dreamy backhand down the line. Stunning, and it earns him a break point. Another forehand winner and the world number one will serve for the first set.

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From Maya, Sally, Sarah or Neil via text: "Maya, Sally, Sarah and Neil are glued to your updates, hanging on every refresh. Sarah has the Fed mask and Neil is wearing the Murray mask. Work is taking a backseat today."

Federer 4-3* Murray
Hmmm... A double-fault from Fed and it's 15-30. "Come on Murray" comes a quite blood-curdling scream from the crowd. Frightening. Murray is twice made to pay for short forehands though and Fed takes control to move to game point before his first serve does the rest.

Federer *3-3 Murray
Clever, shorter, angled approach shot from Murray catches Fed a little flat-footed and the Scot moves to 40-15. Still not getting any cheap points on serve though. He goes to Hawkeye again on a backhand which did clip the sideline, and on the replayed point, does find an unreturnable serve. Not a great start by the linespeople in this final.

John Lloyd on BBC One: "Murray's putting a lot of balls deep, keeping the ball high, with pace. Federer is realising he's got to hit this ball really hard from tough positions to win points. He's already made nine unforced errors. He's being forced to go for a lot of shots. The question is; can Murray keep this up? Both players are playing brilliant stuff. It's fascinating."

Federer 3-2* Murray
Some of these rallies are absorbing, both players trying to out-think the other. All manner of spins, slices and angles. Murray tempts Fed into net, before finding a dipping backhand to force him to net. He has two more break points. Murray challenges again on the first, but Hawkeye doesn't come to his rescue this time, and Fed saves the second with a swinging serve down the middle, but now he's blasted a forehand over the baseline to give Murray another chance. Murray anticipates the smash from Fed, but can't control it and Fed survives with two aces in a row.

From rnnbrwn on Twitter: "There could be a lot of breaks in this game; both players look more confident on their opponent's serve."

Federer *2-2 Murray
"Boooooooo..." The crowd make their feelings known as a wag decides to shout out just as Murray is about to deliver a first serve. He loses the point too, and the third, spraying a forehand into the trams. It's 15-30 and he's in trouble again, struggling to find a first serve at the moment. Fed appears to overcook a forehand - but there's no call. Murray goes to Hawkeye and he's right. Murray goes on to hold for the first time in the match.

It's good news for a Briton
Federer 2-1* Murray
Huge roar from the crowd as Murray chases down a drop shot and sticks it down the line. Murray is in the game again at 15-30 - and now he produces a magnificent backhand pass off a slightly-too-tentative volley from Fed. Two break-back points. He only needs one. Fed's got a short forehand but doesn't do enough with it, Murray forcing a short volley before flicking the pass crosscourt. "Come ooooonnnn," roars the Scot. Game on.

Federer *2-0 Murray
Fed now with 0-30 after a Murray double-fault. Nervy times. Murray again going to the Fed backhand, but the world number one drills one down the line to earn three break points. Fed mis-times a forehand on the first, but on the second, runs around his backhand and drives a stunning forehand into the corner. First blood to the top seed.

Federer 1-0* Murray
Kerpow. That's the way to start a final, Murray rifling a backhand down the line before a deep return forces Federer to net. It's 0-30. Two big serves help the top seed to draw level, and he soon has a game point - but Murray peppers the Fed backhand to draw the error. Fed comes through from deuce, but an encouraging start by the Brit.
* denotes next to serve

0840: Ready? Play...

Text in your views on 81111
From Rhys, Wales, via text: "My stomach is in knots, think I'm more nervous than the players. I fancy Murray to win."

0837: Fed actually won the toss and chose ends, with Murray choosing to receive. Interesting. If you're into omens - and Murray clearly isn't - the British number one is wearing his blue shirt and white shorts. He was wearing all-white at the end of his matches against Nadal and Cilic. Look out for a change should things start going against him. Federer in his familiar, slightly paler blue shirt and white shorts.

Boris Becker on BBC One: "I'm going for Murray. I'm listening to my stomach and it tells me there could be a changing of the guard today."

From Aaronk28 on Twitter: "Am a huge Roger fan, so backing my man all the way today, Roger will make sure it doesn't happen."

0831: Andy Murray looks very cool as he stands at the net twiddling his racquet. Roger Federer eventually joins him for the obligatory photos. Murray calls tails at the coin toss - but it's heads and I think Fed said he would serve first. The roof is open.

0829: Todd Woodbridge (the real one) is on hand for a quick chat with the players before they head out. Andy Murray first: "Looking forward to it. It's a great opportunity for me. If I play well, I've got a great chance." And now Roger Federer on what it will take to win: "A good performance. Anything else won't do the job. I'm excited to be back in another final, excited about the match-up. I hope it's going to go well for me."

From hottheadd11 on Twitter: "Took Fed 17 slams to win his first. It's Andy's 17th slam, it's written in the stars. CMON ANDY."

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From Rhys, a Pom living in Melbourne, via text: "The forecast from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology for the rest of the evening is showers & thunderstorms. Probably keep the roof shut then."

0822: A couple of ballkids are bringing the trophy - the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup - down the long tunnel in Rod Laver Arena and onto court. We should see the players imminently.

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From Nugget in Liverpool, via text: "I've never been so pleased that my three-year-old daughter has woken me so early on a Sunday morning! You play with your toys now while daddy watches the tennis! C'mon Andy!"

0819: They're back. The Jersey Boys perform the Australian national anthem. One of them looks a bit like Todd Woodbridge. Wow. The one with the squeaky high voice really went for it at the end there. Magnificent.

Joe from Ipswich in Melbourne, via text: "Just arrived here at Rod Laver Arena and very fortunate to have a ticket for what's going to be nothing but a Murray victory! COME ON ANDY!"

From garethjl on Twitter: "Reckon they'll open the roof after the Jersey Boys. Don't want the hair gel running down their faces if it rains."

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From Sam in Dubai, via text: "Got my can of Irn Bru, Saltire flag painted on my face, lion rampant wrapped around my back. Boss isnae pleased. Come on Andy!"

0816: Here they are! The Jersey Boys, that is. Frenetic dancing and a lot of high male voices, which is not helping my nerves. I could do with something a little more soothing... Oh. They've finished now.

Murray on Federer's 'mind-games': "I don't know. He's been in this position a lot of times. He obviously deals with it how he wants to. I feel good about my game. I put a lot of pressure on myself to play well. I'm sure there'll be a few nerves. I'm pretty sure he'll be the favourite in most people's minds so maybe he's trying to take a bit of pressure off."

0809: Apparently, it's not raining in Melbourne anymore, but it seems unlikely they'll open the roof on Rod Laver Arena unless they're sure there'll be no more of the wet stuff. We're still waiting for the Jersey Boys on court.

From anon via text: "Lying here in Koh Samui in a full on kilt, getting some strange looks on the beach! Can't find the game on television anywhere!!!"

From bridgeman1952 on Twitter: "Federer talks as if he knows he's going to be beaten (one day) - today could be the day. Go Andy!"

0804: The BBC One coverage is up and running, and if you're in the UK and you give this page a cheeky manual refresh, you should be able to see it too. Kerching.

Olympic medallist Sir Chris Hoy on BBC 5 live: "I thought I'd stop by and see some of this tennis lark. We've been out in Perth on a training camp - and this was an opportunity I couldn't miss. Fingers crossed Andy can do the business. I've got a feeling tonight could be his night."

From Anthony, Cyprus, via text: "Scotland flag flying high in Limassol. Come on Murray, we're all rooting for you."

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From Adam via text: "Going over to my bro's to watch what I fear will be episode 257 of 'British Sporting Disappointments'."

Justine Henin on the final: "I'm sure it's going to be a great match. For me, they are maybe the two best players in the world at the moment. Andy Murray is such a smart player, what he's doing on the court is just fantastic. But Roger, what more can we say about what he's doing? I mean, I have so much respect for him. I think he's going to win. But I hope, and I'm sure, it's going to be a great battle."

From davidmcbride09 on Twitter: "If Murray can return as well as he did against Cilic and Nadal, he's got a good chance of winning this final."

0751: I'm sure I don't need to remind you, but you can get in touch, as ever, on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (the world) or on Twitter. How you feeling? I feel nervous, excited and tired all at the same time.

0745: Just looking at pictures of Rod Laver Arena which is dark apart from some spotlights shining on the court. Rumour has it we'll be treated to medley of songs from Jersey Boys ahead of the final. Super. Outside on the live stage, the Rogue Traders are entertaining the crowd, now sadly without former Neighbours actress Natalie Bassingthwaighte.

Andy's brother Jamie Murray on Twitter: "Looking forward to watching the final... in the Star Alliance lounge at Heathrow! What am I doing?!"

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From Steve, Leeds, via text: "Well, I'm up and ready, Saltire flag flying from my window, let's go Andy, let's go!"

0740: The pubs and hotels of Murray's home town Dunblane - where it's dark and freezing - are opening their doors early so people can watch this match together. Guests at the Dunblane Hotel will get free champagne if the Scot is victorious today. I've already booked my ticket.

It's raining
0736: A little under an hour to go until the final - and it's tipping down in Melbourne, where they've been experiencing electrical storms. That means the roof is on Rod Laver Arena, which experts will tell you might tip the balance slightly further in Roger Federer's favour.

0730: Hello. Here we go again then: one man's battle against the burden of history - and a bloke called Roger Federer. What makes Andy Murray's task so difficult? "He's playing, you know, me," reckons the world number one.

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see also
Federer ends Murray's Slam dream
31 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Murray v Federer photos
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Serena 'honoured' to match King
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Serena seals fifth Aussie title
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Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis
Women's singles latest
23 May 08 |  Tennis
Men's doubles latest
02 Jun 08 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
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