The Straits Times
Published on Jan 26, 2013

Federer's mask slips as Murray gets under his skin


(REUTERS) - Andy Murray did not just beat Roger Federer for the first time in grand slam play at the Australian Open on Friday, the Scot's relentless onslaught made the King of Cool lose his cool.

The regal Federer, whose grace and skill has dazzled the sport for a golden decade in which he has won 17 grand slam titles, rarely appears ruffled by anything but on Friday, in the heat of battle, his mask slipped.

Struggling to live with Murray's power and unable to punch through the Briton's granite-like defences, the 31-year-old Federer fought like a cornered rat to force a riveting contest into a fifth set.

Throughout the four-hour semi-final Murray showed scant regard for his opponent's reputation, engaging the Swiss maestro in the kind of close-quarters combat that left little room for the decorum and reverence often accompanying Federer matches.