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Andy Murray v Roger Federer LIVE AUSTRALIAN OPEN

LIVE: Murray v Federer – the action from the Australian Open semi-final as it happens

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

00:01 GMT, 25 January 2013

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UPDATED:

08:16 GMT, 25 January 2013

Andy Murray is aiming to win his second Grand Slam title in Australia, but first he must navigate his way past old foe Roger Federer in the semi-final in Melbourne.

The pair have had their fair share of entertaining clashes and we look set for another today with Novak Djokovic lying in wait for the winner ahead of Sunday's final.

You can follow all the action here and get in touch by e-mailing [email protected]

8.15am: Although Murray leads Federer 10-9 on the head-to-head record, the Scot has never beaten the former world No 1 in a grand slam. Most recently, he was defeated in the Wimbledon final.

Murray did however earn revenge at the Olympics, winning the gold medal match in London.

8.10am: The temperature has dropped to around 20C in Melbourne as the opening slam of the season draws to a close. The two semi-finalists won't be on court before 8.30am UK time.

8am: Welcome to Sportsmail's coverage of Andy Murray's semi-final against Roger Federer.

One step away: Andy Murray must get past Roger Federer to make his third grand slam final in a row

One step away: Andy Murray must get past Roger Federer to make his third grand slam final in a row

Nick Harris: Well back player walk-offs over racism, says union chief Carlisle

We'll back player walk-offs over racism, says union chief Carlisle

Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins in the vanguard, they want to be seen as the pioneers of a new, clean era in cycling.

Some critics argue that Team Sky's 'no drugs' policy evidently failed in as much as it did not prevent past dopers from working with them.

Any confession by Armstrong could rest on whether he is guaranteed immunity from prosecution for perjury after lying in court cases in the past about his doping.

London 2012 Olympics: Andy Murray faces Stanislas Wawrinka

Murray faces Wawrinka first with Djokovic lying in wait for Brit

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UPDATED:

10:57 GMT, 26 July 2012

Andy Murray starts his Olympic Games bid with a tricky test against Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka.

The British No 1 has been handed a difficult draw and could potentially face Richard Gasquet, Thomas Berdych and Novak Djokovic before the final.

Roger Federer, who beat Murray in the Wimbledon final, is in the opposite half of the draw.

More to follow…

Medal mission: Andy Murray faces Stanislas Wawrinka in his first Olympic tie

Medal mission: Andy Murray faces Stanislas Wawrinka in his first Olympic tie

Something looks different: Wimbledon has been done out in London 2012 colours

Something looks different: Wimbledon has been done out in London 2012 colours

Wimbledon 2012: Roger Federer beats Novak Djokovic

Federer rolls back the years with four-set win over defending champion Djokovic

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UPDATED:

15:01 GMT, 6 July 2012

Roger Federer is one win away from a seventh Wimbledon title after booking his place in a record eighth final by dethroning reigning champion Novak Djokovic.

The Swiss, who has 16 grand slam titles in all, was at his very best against a strangely subdued Djokovic under the Centre Court roof.

Fed express: The Swiss world No 3 was in sparkling form on Centre Court

Fed express: The Swiss world No 3 was in sparkling form on Centre Court

He forced the Serbian to commit 24 of
the type of careless errors that have been absent on a stunning run of
form that had seen him win four of the last six majors – Federer three
times his victim at the semi-final stage – and wrapped up a 6-3 3-6 6-4
6-3 success in two hours and 19 minutes.

Federer will no doubt take extra satisfaction from the win too. Despite
his standing as the game's greatest modern-era player, he has been
forced to take a back seat to the rivalry between Djokovic and Rafael
Nadal over recent years.

Off the pace: Djokovic could not recover from a slow start

Off the pace: Djokovic could not recover from a slow start

That has partly been down to what, by his standards, has been a drought –
he last reached the Wimbledon final in 2009 and has not won a grand
slam for two and a half years – but also owing to Djokovic's emergence
as the game's kingpin.

That balance has been redressed for now, though, with Federer now lying
in wait for either Andy Murray or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and knowing he will
replace Djokovic as world number one with a win on Sunday.

Smashing form: Federer was on top of his game

Smashing form: Federer was on top of his game

With so much on the line a cagey start was always expected and so it
proved across the first five games, until Federer stepped up in the
sixth.

He broke at the first opportunity, setting up the chance with a forehand
to the corner and validating it when Djokovic slipped as he charged in
to field a venomous cross-court backhand.

Stretched: Djokovic failed to defend his Wimbledon crown

Stretched: Djokovic failed to defend his Wimbledon crown

With his nose in front, Federer duly served out for the set, sending
down three aces across two games as the opener was wrapped up in 24
minutes.

Djokovic is not a player to roll over and he started the second set
afresh, breaking at the first opportunity to take an early 2-0 lead.

High quality: The match reached incredible standards of play at times

High quality: The match reached incredible standards of play at times

High quality: The match reached incredible standards of play at times

Federer helped him earn three break points with an
uncharacteristically-shanked forehand and he took the second of them
when Federer sent a backhand into the net.

He was determined not to have the break cancelled out too, with two of
his next three service games all going to love, Federer's only half
chance coming in the seventh game when, at 0-15, he patted a second
serve back into the net.

Djokovic was not troubled after that and got level with a 6-3 win. It
was the first set Federer had dropped in a Wimbledon semi-final, having
won 22 consecutively including today's opener.

Packed crowd: Cenrte Court was full to the rafters

Packed crowd: Cenrte Court was full to the rafters

Like Djokovic early in the second set, Federer responded by going on the
attack, spurning a second-game break point before allowing two more to
slip through his fingers in the sixth.

The first was lost with an errant one-hander to the corner, before the
second – teed up by a rally that contained 16 brilliant backhands –
disappeared off the top edge of his racket.

But the Swiss was sensing a vulnerability on Djokovic's serve and,
having saved a break point of his own in the ninth game, he took the set
in a mesmerising 10th.

No Djok: Djokovic misses his first Grand Slam final since the French Open in 2011

No Djok: Djokovic misses his first Grand Slam final since the French Open in 2011

Serving to stay alive at 5-4 behind, Djokovic offered up two set points
with a wayward smash and that shot seemed all the more poignant when
Federer landed an overhead of his own to take the second point available
to him, after an 18-shot sequence that had beggared belief in its
quality.

Federer showed no signs of struggle when he returned to the court after a
short break, again taking Djokovic's serve as he eased out to 3-0 –
some unusually-wayward hitting from the five-time grand slam winner
seeing him fall 0-40 behind, with a careless forehand validating the
second of three break points.

Disbelief: Djokovic sits looking stunned after the match

Disbelief: Djokovic sits looking stunned after the match

With Federer in such a zone it came a a shock when he wasted three more
break points in the sixth game, allowing Djokovic, who appeared to have
switched off entirely, a last-chance reprieve.

But he could not get anywhere near Federer's serve and could only stand
and watch his title hopes – as well as possibly his world number one
status – drift away as the Swiss took the set 6-3 and with it the match.

Seventh heaven: Federer will aim to equal Sampras' record

Seventh heaven: Federer will aim to equal Sampras' record

Federer said on the BBC: 'Obviously I'm ecstatic, I'm so happy.

'I played a great match today, a great tournament.

'I was able to play some fantastic tennis.

'I thought Novak played well too, the first two sets went really quickly and the third was key to the match.

'I was able to step it up and get a bit lucky maybe.

'It really was a lot of fun playing out there today.

'It feels great to be in a Wimbledon final. This is what you play for, the Wimbledon trophy.'

Seventh heaven: Federer will aim to equal Sampras' record

Martin Samuel: Come to see the gongs, not the gangs in Stratford

Come to see the gongs, not the gangs in Stratford

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 3 July 2012

After the tragic events at Westfield last Friday, a Panorama investigation can surely not be too far away. The Shopping Malls of Hate they could call it.

Reporter Chris Rogers staring
solemnly into camera, predicting dire consequences for anyone foolish
enough to visit London’s Olympic Games. Tourists may come home in a
coffin, he will warn.

An Olympic legend — Mark Spitz,
maybe, or Eddie the Eagle — will explain that, while he has not visited
Stratford or east London any time recently, he can vouch for the fact
that it is a hellhole, populated with vicious gangs waiting to rip out
your throat on the way to the hockey.

Panorama
has been accused of sensationalising and rubbishing the reputation of
two entire countries, Poland and Ukraine, prior to the European
Championship. Don’t think it couldn’t happen here. Not least because,
without doubt, crime in the immediate proximity of the Olympic site is a
major issue.

Walking distance: The Olympic Stadium viewed from Westfield

Walking distance: The Olympic Stadium viewed from Westfield

When Liam Woodards, 24 and a
Stratford resident, was stabbed to death after a fight broke out between
groups of young men in the 1.45billion Westfield centre, it is fair to
say few who know the area were surprised.

My father still works on a market
stall in east London. One of his staff doubled as a part-time Westfield
security guard and his personal experiences were rarely the greatest
enticement for shoppers.

One day my father mused that, being
genuinely interested in the project, he fancied jumping on a Central
Line train and going to see the Olympic Stadium as it rose.

‘I wouldn’t,’ said a customer. He
lived in Stratford and painted a gloomy picture of gangs lying in wait
for the unsuspecting. Now we can dismiss this information as merely
anecdotal, but DHL won’t deliver to my father’s part of east London, and
the banks have all shut because they kept getting robbed.

The last crime statistics for the
London Borough of Newham, where the Olympic Stadium is based, revealed
that in May there were 28 cases of most serious violence, 612 of
violence against the person, 136 muggings, 10 business robberies, 167
residential burglaries, 70 burglaries and 1,470 instances of anti-social
behaviour.

The only London borough with more
occasions of serious violent crime against an individual (murder,
wounding, GBH, assault with injury, common assault, offensive weapon
use, harassment and the vaguely encapsulating ‘other violence’) is
Westminster, where many Olympic tourists will stay.

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VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Let the mayhem begin, as Jacques
Rogge, the International Olympic Committee president, will not be saying
at the opening ceremony.

Alighting at Stratford station this
summer, visitors will have to walk through the mall where Woodards died
to get to the Olympic Park. So, should they be fearful Not at all.

Westfield will be the safest place in
Britain. This is the point Panorama missed with their scaremongering
prior to the European Championship. Never worry about random acts of
violence or nastiness during an Olympics, World Cup or European
Championship.

Stadiums of Hate, their ill-received investigation, may have highlighted real and serious problems for football fans in eastern Europe but Panorama forgot that, in tournaments, different rules apply.

Major sporting events are like Christmas. For a brief spell, they make the world a better place.

‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year,’ sang Andy Williams. ‘I wish it could be Christmas every day,’ added Roy Wood. And remember the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s Christmas Time Is Here from those Charlie Brown specials

‘Oh that we could always see, such spirit through the year.’

Sporting festivals are like that. Your club may be blighted by a hardcore band of racist boneheads, but they will know to keep the Swastika flag rolled up in the drawer for three weeks in June.

Gangs may infest your shopping mall and make your streets a no-go area at night, but the heavy, visible police presence the community has been demanding without success for 10 years will suddenly appear for one month only, and the crime statistics will slip off the graph.

Danny Jordaan, who delivered a safe and secure World Cup in South Africa as promised, did so by putting the country in a state of virtual lockdown with 40,000 extra police.

Strength in numbers: South African police fend off New Zealand fans in Polokwane

Strength in numbers: South African police fend off New Zealand fans in Polokwane

From my hotel in Sandton to the main centre, you passed one every 20 yards. A bloke got five years for stealing an Argentina fan’s mobile telephone. There were 15,940 murders in South Africa between April 2010 and March 2011, but in that time everybody reported a peaceful, harmonious World Cup.

The problem was real: but temporarily suppressed.

A host nation knows its duty during a major sporting occasion. Long before the successful relaunch of Major League Soccer, the United States embraced the 1994 World Cup. The locals might have cheered giant goal kicks under the impression they were demonstrations of skill, but they bought into the idea of a big event and most games were sell-outs. The total attendance figure remains the highest in World Cup history, despite it being the last competition to feature 24 teams.

Citizens know the salesman’s role expected of them, with the eyes of the world watching, and even those that do not will encounter a policeman with sufficient regularity to curb the temptation to go rogue or off message. So do not fret.

There will be more chance of finding a small, independent retailer in the chain store Westfield complex than there will a victim of violent crime once the Olympics is here.

The media has learned its lesson, too. The bottom fell out of the doom market in South Africa and after Panorama’s chastening experience in Poland and Ukraine, there will be little appetite for negativity in the future, whatever the circumstances.

If there are reporters with grave misgivings about random crime, readiness or travel chaos in Brazil two years from now, they would be well advised to keep quiet.

The cleansing process has already begun, apparently. Brazil is having its roughest edges smoothed in time for the arrival of Sepp and the boys.

The final humiliation for Panorama’s investigators will come when a formal complaint to the BBC is made by the FA this week.

Sensing the chance to score some rare points with the international community, the FA will make known their belated objections to the Stadiums of Hate investigation.

It would have been more impressive if they had acted at the time, rather than waiting to see if the tournament went off all right, but such is the world of football politics. It is open season on Panorama now. They warned of racism and hooliganism in Poland and Ukraine, Sol Campbell, a former England international, suggested there could be fatalities if fans travelled. And nothing happened.

Well, not exactly nothing. There were some outbreaks of violence involving Russian and Polish supporters, a banana here, a few dubious chants there.

Flaring up: Police intervene as Polish and Russian fans clash in Warsaw

Flaring up: Police intervene as Polish and Russian fans clash in Warsaw

The predicted hatred, however, did not materialise; just as crime was not the problem anticipated in South Africa, localised dangers around the Olympic Stadium will recede once Britain is becalmed during July and August.

Always show your best side to London, goes the saying, and this summer the country will do precisely that.

People know the parameters of respectability. Ron Atkinson threw away his television career with some appalling remarks about Chelsea defender Marcel Desailly, but he did not intend making them on air.

Atkinson would never be that foolish. He knew what was and wasn’t palatable. His comments came at a time when he thought his microphone was not broadcasting, but they were aired in the Middle East by mistake.

Carol Thatcher did not use derogatory terms to describe the tennis player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in any television studio. She waited until she was safely back in the green room, having what she termed a private conversation. Aside from sad sacks like Jacqueline Woodhouse — the ranting racist train lady — most people in Britain know exactly what to say in public and private to avoid trouble.

Why should other communities be different Eastern Europe is not widely populated by thugs and racists. Then again, Panorama never said it was. It has its share, though, do not doubt it.

The programme was flawed in many areas and misguided in others, but its intimation that there was the potential for disorder, that certain clubs had violent factions and black people in particular had been targeted, was not unreasonable given pre-tournament evidence.

The presentation was dramatic, the language — Campbell’s in particular — overblown; but we would be foolish to believe they made it all up.

Elton John played a concert in Kiev for Aids awareness at the weekend. He spoke out about draft law 8711, to be addressed by the Ukrainian parliament this week, which will make it an offence to express support for homosexuality in public.

Special guest: Elton John and his partner David Furnish welcome Svyatoslav Sheremet

Special guest: Elton John and his partner David Furnish welcome Svyatoslav Sheremet

A backstage guest at his concert was Svyatoslav Sheremet, a gay activist who was beaten savagely by thugs, disguised in surgical masks, at a gay pride march abandoned after an hour because the police could not guarantee safety.

Yet, was homophobic activity visible in the three weeks of the European Championship Not to these eyes.

Is a tournament the faithful proving ground of a society and its values

Hardly. Documentary film-makers do your worst. Westfield shopping centre will be perfectly safe for a stroll come July 27; just don’t arrive early, or late, for as one young man found to his cost, the world will be a very different place.

Time Spain’s illustrious coach took some praise

His official form of address is Ilustrisimo Seor Marques de Del Bosque (The Most Illustrious Marquis of Del Bosque), so Vicente del Bosque is hardly an unsung hero, but in the circumstances it is quite remarkable how little personal praise Spain’s coach has received for creating one of the greatest football teams of all time.

Trophy magnet: Vicente del Bosque

Trophy magnet: Vicente del Bosque

Considering Roy Hodgson was almost canonised in some quarters for simply making England hard to beat, what price Del Bosque’s thinking in landing the European Championship for Spain He may not have been the only coach to work out that Andrea Pirlo must be neutralised for Italy to be beaten, but he was the one who came up with the best plan of attack.

Hodgson may have told England’s players
that he was happy with the way they dealt with Pirlo, but he got lucky.
Had Italy taken their chances that night, Pirlo’s passing would have won
the game long before the penalty shootout. Joachim Low of Germany was
similarly all at sea negating him.
Del Bosque’s Spain, however,
swarmed all over Pirlo the moment he got the ball, turning him back
towards Italy’s goal. The tears he cried on the final whistle were
frustration as much as disappointment. He knew he had been mastered.

Study also Del Bosque’s reaction to the injury to David Villa. His false striker tactic may not be wholly original — Holland’s total footballers played that way, to some extent, as did Arsenal’s Invincibles — but it was still a radical way of dealing with a common problem for managers in tournaments. Del Bosque lost a key player and thought his way out of it, rather than persevering with inferiors.

Sidelined: Spain were without David Villa (centre) and Carles Puyol (right) as Spain successfully defended to the European Championship they won under Luis Aragones (left)

Sidelined: Spain were without David Villa (centre) and Carles Puyol (right) as Spain successfully defended to the European Championship they won under Luis Aragones (left)

Once again, the revolution starts in the mind. It is hard to play like Spain without this bountiful crop of players, but equally, talent is undermined unless it is matched by explosions of creative thought. Some think Del Bosque has it easy, just as Roberto Mancini coasts on Manchester City’s money, or it is a breeze to be in charge at Manchester United.

Yet Del Bosque is alone in winning the World Cup, European Championship and Champions League so it may, just a little bit, also be about him.

Pearce calls it right

There is a reason Stuart Pearce did not give Team GB chief Andy Hunt advance warning of his decision to drop David Beckham. It is the same one that explains why Sir Alex Ferguson does not run his selections past chief executive David Gill, or Roberto Mancini never allows Sheik Mansour a heads up when he decides to drop Carlos Tevez. It is not their business.

It would not have occurred to Pearce that there was a long line of people needing to be kept in the loop here, from the British Olympic Association to Team GB or the Football Association.

He is the manager, he picks the team. That is how football works. Always has, always should. Team GB wanted to put footballers into the Olympics and must respect the integrity of their sport. The manager is his own man. Pearce wouldn’t have taken the job any other way, and neither would any contemporary worth a carat.

Keeping it quiet: Stuart Pearce has handled David Beckham's Olympic omission admirably

Keeping it quiet: Stuart Pearce has handled David Beckham's Olympic omission admirably

‘I’d love to have found out earlier that David wasn’t in,’ said Hunt. Really So you could do what Counsel against it Throw a strop Apply a little pressure, as James Fox’s gangster says in Performance. Maybe that is why Pearce went ahead and contacted Beckham without turning the decision-making process into a conference call.

If so, he is smarter than he looks. As for Hunt, his official title is chef de mission. If he wants to get involved, he could always cut the England coach a cheese sandwich.

Is Silva superhuman

We now have a biennial debate about a Premier League mid-season break, in the wake of another tournament blighted by injury and fatigue for English players. So one question: after 49 appearances for Manchester City this season, and nine for Spain, why wasn’t David Silva tired Might it be the chasing, not the playing, that takes it out of you

No sign of fatigue: David Silva started every game of Spain's Euro 2012 campaign

No sign of fatigue: David Silva started every game of Spain's Euro 2012 campaign

Early conflict

Andre Villas-Boas has been installed as Harry Redknapp’s successor at Tottenham Hotspur, with the club also likely to announce new signings Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jan Vertonghen, two players who were on the radar before the new manager. This is undoubtedly a healthy start to the relationship between coach and board and one that can only lead to further harmony down the line.

Andy Murray handed Julien Benneteau walkover win in Monte Carlo Masters

Murray strolls into Monte Carlo last eight after injured Benneteau limps out early on

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UPDATED:

10:40 GMT, 19 April 2012

Andy Murray secured his place in the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters after his opponent, Julien Benneteau, was forced to retire hurt before the end of the first set.

The world No 31 suffered ankle and wrist injuries during a heavy fall in game 11, and although he tried to continue, Benneteau eventually threw in the towel with the Scot leading 6-5.

It was a sad end to what had been an enthralling match which concluded with third seed Murray through to face either Tomas Berdych or Kei Nishikori in the last eight.

Eyes on the prize: Andy Murray in action against Julien Benneteau at the Monte Carlo Masters

Eyes on the prize: Andy Murray in action against Julien Benneteau at the Monte Carlo Masters

The pair had played each other twice before, with Murray winning both matches. And the world No 4 broke in just the second game of the opening set after Benneteau hit a forehand long.

But the Scot found life tough on his next service game and a series of sloppy errors allowed Benneteau five break-point opportunities, with the Frenchman taking advantage on the fifth when Murray put a forehand wide.

Ouch: Murray looks away as an injured Benneteau receives help from the trainer on court

Ouch: Murray looks away as an injured Benneteau receives help from the trainer on court

Premature end: The pair shake hands as the Frenchman calls it quits in the first set

Premature end: The pair shake hands as the Frenchman calls it quits in the first set

The players continued to entertain the crowd with a mixture of tense rallies, wonder shots and wild returns as they battled to gain the upper hand.

Murray, who had beaten Viktor Troicki in just 67 minutes in the previous round, showed signs of improvement when he held serve to love in game seven.

Lying in wait: Murray will face either Kei Nishikori or Tomas Berdych in the quarter-final

Lying in wait: Murray will face either Kei Nishikori or Tomas Berdych in the quarter-final

However, drama followed in the 11th game when, with Murray leading 30-0 on serve, Benneteau slipped and landed awkwardly while chasing a wide forehand.

The Frenchman collapsed in agony and a lengthy delay followed as he received treatment and some heavy strapping to his right ankle. Benneteau decided to continue, although Murray quickly served out the game to take a 6-5 advantage.

Brief encounter: Murray serves to Benneteau during their only set in Monte Carlo

Brief encounter: Murray serves to Benneteau during their only set in Monte Carlo

The trainer then reappeared to assess Benneteau's right wrist and forearm, which was also causing the player discomfort. More strapping was applied, but Benneteau looked in some pain and admitted defeat soon after.

Pepe apologises for stamp on Messi

Pepe apologises for 'unintentional' stamp on Messi's hand after backlash

Real Madrid defender Pepe has apologised for his apparent stamp on Lionel Messi's hand in last night's 2-1 defeat to arch-rivals Barcelona.

But the Portugal international insisted the act, which was missed at the time by the referee, was 'unintentional'.

Words: Gerard Pique has harsh words with Pepe

Words: Gerard Pique has harsh words with Pepe

The 28-year-old was branded 'shameful' and 'embarrassing' in the Spanish press following the incident during the Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg at the Bernabeu, which came when Messi was lying on the ground.

And in a statement on the club's website, Pepe said: 'I wish to say yesterday's incident with Leo Messi was unintentional, but I nevertheless want to apologise to him if he was offended because all I do is defend my team and this institution.

'I give my heart and soul, and the thought of hurting a colleague has never entered my mind.'

Ouch: Lionel Messi is in pain after Pepe stomped on his hand

Ouch: Lionel Messi is in pain after Pepe stomped on his hand

The usually pro-Madrid newspaper Marca pulled few punches in its reaction to the incident.

After the match, coach Jose Mourinho said Pepe had played well for the team, but warned he would be punished if it was found he had deliberately stamped on Messi.

'I haven't seen it, but obviously if it is deliberate he will be punished,' Mourinho said.

'What I can say is that he did a great job for the team.'