Murray confident of getting past Federer

WIMBLEDON • A lot has happened to Andy Murray in the three years since he choked back the tears on Centre Court after a four-set final defeat that handed Roger Federer a seventh Wimbledon title.

After losing his fourth successive major final then, many were wondering whether the Briton had what it took to get over the line.

With the pair set to meet again in today's Wimbledon semi-final, however, there is no doubt who has enjoyed the better fortune since that encounter in 2012.

Murray has won two Grand Slam titles and one Olympic gold medal since then, but more importantly, he has shifted a monkey from his back that had threatened to weigh him down for his whole career.

Federer, who clinched a 17th Grand Slam title that day, has not tasted major success again and at 33, the clock is ticking on the Swiss.

His recent record against Murray, however, is superb as he has beaten the Scot in their last three meetings.

But Murray may prefer to remember their last match on grass - three one-sided sets that secured the Olympic gold on Centre Court.

"I'm playing better tennis than I was then," the Briton said. "I don't think those matches that we played here in the past will have too much bearing on the outcome on Friday."

Which is perhaps lucky for him. In their 23 matches, Federer leads the head-to-head 12-11 and in the six times they have faced each other on British soil, Murray trails 1-5.

The prize on offer for the winner is likely to be a final against holder and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who faces unfancied Frenchman Richard Gasquet and his majestic backhand in the other semi-final.

Gasquet has only appeared in two Grand Slam semi-finals, losing them both, and has spent the most time on court of the four semi-finalists at 11hr 13min.

Barring a testing fourth-round clash against big-serving South African Kevin Anderson, Djokovic has looked in fine form on his run to the last four.

He has also proved to be a nemesis to Gasquet throughout his career. The 21st-seeded Frenchman has won only one of 12 meetings against Djokovic and that sole success came eight years ago in 2007.

But Djokovic is not taking victory for granted. "Gasquet's backhand (is one of the) best one-handed backhands in the world," he said.

"That's his weapon. He has a variety. He can play really well from defence and offence. He's also very skilled at the net. He improved his serve. He's an all-around player."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 10, 2015, with the headline 'Murray confident of getting past Federer'. Print Edition | Subscribe