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Federer ousts Murray into 11th consecutive Australian Open semi

English.news.cn   2014-01-22 21:06:32

(SP) AUSTRALIA-MELBOURNE-TENNIS-FEDERER VS MURRAY
Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates victory after his men's singles quarterfinal against Andy Murray of UK at 2014 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, Jan. 22, 2014. Federer won 3-1. (Xinhua/Li Jundong)

MELBOURNE, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Roger Federer has set up a 33rd clash of his epic rivalry with Rafael Nadal with four-set quarterfinal triumph over Andy Murray at Australia Open on Wednesday.

The revitalised Swiss reached his 11th consecutive Australia Open last four by eliminating Murray 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3 in a compelling encounter loaded with sublime shot-making and lung-busting rallies.

The win set up a showdown with Nadal who beat Bulgarian 22nd seed Grigor Dimitrov 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (9-7), 6-2 in the other quarterfinal.

Murray questioned whether Federer had won a key point deep in the third set on a suspected double bounce before breaking the Scot to claim a 5-4 advantage and an opportunity to serve out the match in straight sets.

Federer blew two match points in the third-set tiebreaker and was unable to convert any of six break-point chances in a marathon second game of the fourth set.

Federer regrouped to finally see off Murray after three hours and 19 minutes of mostly breathtaking tennis from the Swiss.

Until his late stumble, the four-time Australia Open champion has won 77 of his 79 service games in this campaign.

Federer broke Murray once in each set, the last decisive time in the eighth game of the fourth set as the Scot began to seize.

When Murray served, he struggled to hang on especially as fatigue beset the world No. 4 as the night wore on.

Murray only played two competitive matches in four months before the Australia Open after undergoing back surgery after the US Open.

In the other quarterfinal, Nadal resisted a tough challenge from Bulgarian emerging star Grigor Dimitrov to progress.

The Spanish No. 1 had to overcome a savage blister, a one-set deficit and an unusually shaky serve to secure the last four berth after a typically tenacious triumph.

The top seed will require urgent attention to a deep wound on his racquet hand after twice needing extensive re-taping for the injury during his intense three-hour, 37-minute struggle with Dimitrov.

His left hand is doubtfully strong enough for his next impact matchup, which is the first since 2012 in the semifinals at Melbourne Park with Federer.

In women's quarterfinals, Agnieszka Radwanska snapped Victoria Azarenka' s 18-match winning streak at the Australian Open, upsetting the Belarussian 6-1, 5-7, 6-0.

The first major of the season extends its prevailing tumbling of star players and dramatic ousting of reigning champions.

On Tuesday, three-time reigning champion Novak Djokovic was knocked out the tournament by Stanislas Wawrinka in five-set thriller.

The fifth seeded Polish next meets Dominika Cibulkova, who took just an hour to dispose of Simona Halep 6-3, 6-0.

Slovakia's Cibulkova, seeded 20th, beat Maria Shaparova to get her chance against Halep.

She is in her second career grand slam semifial in 26 attempts, with the last one coming at the French Open in 2009.

Editor: Fu Peng
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