A term that has never been associated with the God of tennis. Taking the word God to mean someone or something that is too perfect, indestructible, Federer has proven time and again that no body deserves that title more than him. But even Gods get tired, even Gods get weary, as seen from the recently completed semi-finals of Australian open. It was not something a Federer Fan would like to remember.
From the first set, the whole match was about how good Federer was, in catching up with his younger and mentally more positive champion in Andy Murray. Love him or loathe him, Murray solved the equation to a victory against a dominant opposition – he served excellent. With a first serve percentage of above 75 and points won on first serves around 80, Federer could do nothing against the Olympic gold medal winner but to catch him off handed in two tie-brakers. The break in the fourth set was a blip in the finesse of Murray’s tennis.
When everything was going the Scot’s way, a fresh burst of hope shone when Federer returned a overhead smash with his signature one handed backhand winner. None of that would be repeated in the Soct’s controlled performance in the fifth. After losing the first service game and getting up to 3-0, Federer could do no more than 2 points per game when Murray served.
It was not an edge of the seat thriller and from a Federer fan, it was painful to see mental preparedness and age catching up to the successor of the great Sampras. No long games swaying at deuce, no epic tie-breakers and no an-hour-plus sets, it was a day when the God of tennis walked off his throne to a younger opponent who recently exited the shell playing to the equation of a winning tennis. Let us hope the great Serb who physically punishes his opponents gives a great opposition to the young Scot and makes a festival for the tennis fans in us.
Final score – 6-4, 6-7, 6-3, 6-7, 6-2 Andy Murray.