On this day: Roger Federer beats Andy Murray for 16th Major crown



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On this day: Roger Federer beats Andy Murray for 16th Major crown

After winning three titles in four years in Melbourne between 2004-07, Roger Federer had to stop just before the finish line in 2008 and 2009, losing to Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal who took the Australian Open crown away from him.

Nonetheless, Roger bounced back in 2010, conquering Melbourne Park for the fourth time and becoming the fifth player with that many triumphs at the first Major of the season after Jack Crawford, Ken Rosewall, Roy Emerson and Andre Agassi.

At the beginning of the season, Nikolay Davydenko defeated Federer in the semi-final in Doha and the Swiss lost the opening set in Melbourne against Igor Andreev before dominating in the next 12 to reach the last eight where he toppled Davydenko in four sets.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga stood no chance against Roger in the semis, leaving the court in less than 90 minutes and leaving Andy Murray as the only rival who stood between Roger and the trophy. Tsonga and Murray defeated Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the quarters and Federer seized the opportunity with both hands, beating Andy 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 in two hours and 41 minutes for his 16th Grand Slam crown on January 31, moving further ahead of Pete Sampras who stayed on 14.

Roger and Andy met for the 11th time and the Swiss scored the fifth win, the third in a row after Cincinnati and the ATP Finals in the second part of 2009. Federer had the upper hand on the second serve, fending off six out of eight break chances and breaking Andy four times from 12 opportunities to seal the deal in straight sets, repelling a 5-2 deficit and five set points in the third set tie break to lift the trophy!

Both players had more unforced errors than winners. However, Federer had a better ratio, having the advantage in the shortest points and also the most extended rallies to emerge as a winner. Murray fought well in the mid-range exchanges but that wasn't enough for at least a set, serving at only 56% and spraying too many errors to stand a chance against such a strong rival.

The first break of serve came in the second game when Roger fired a forehand crosscourt winner, with Andy pulling it back in the very next game with a forehand winner to return to the positive side of the scoreboard. The Swiss fended off three break points in the fifth game and moved in front with another forehand winner at 4-3, forcing an error from Andy in game nine to secure the opener after 43 minutes.

Murray was unable to tame the rival's shots in those moments and Federer broke him at love in the third game of the second set, confirming the lead with a forehand winner a few minutes later and creating a couple of chances in the next return game as well.

Andy erased two break points to stay within one break deficit but had to work even harder at 2-4 when Roger earned four break opportunities. The Swiss failed to convert any of those but that was hardly a problem for him, blasting three winners at 5-4 to clinch the set and move closer to the finish line.

With his back pushed against the wall, Andy started to play better in the third set, producing more damage on the return and stealing Roger's serve at 3-2 with a volley winner for his first lead in the final. The Briton raced further in front with an ace, serving for the set at 5-3, hoping for another good hold that would extend the match for him.

Instead of that, he netted a forehand to get broken and they went into a tie break when Federer held at love in game 12, having the momentum on his side after a great escape. Trailing 4-3, Murray found his shots and moved 6-4 up after three winners, with set points up for grabs.

He netted an easy forehand at 6-5 and Roger saved three more set points before prevailing 13-11 to celebrate the title and hold three out of four Grand Slams, losing a tight US Open final last September against Juan Martin del Potro.