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Jeff Cooper

Federer Defeats Murray for 2010 Australian Open Title

By January 31, 2010

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Roger Federer captured his sixteenth Grand Slam singles title Sunday in Melbourne, as he defeated Andy Murray 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(11) in the Australian Open final. Not surprisingly, Roger's forehand, widely considered the best in tennis, was his most effective weapon, producing 40 of his 46 groundstroke winners. Roger's one-handed backhand also performed well, in large part because Andy rarely hit high, heavy topspins that kicked above Roger's backhand strike zone. Murray just wasn't aggressive enough overall to throw Roger off, perhaps hindered by the weight of British hopes for their first male Grand Slam champion since Fred Perry in 1936. That weight was most conspicuous in the trophy ceremony, when apologizing to his nation for letting them down brought Andy to tears.

Andy did start hitting harder and deeper in the third set, thus making it extremely competitive. An extra foot or two of depth and/or an extra few mph of pace can often tip the complexion of a match, and Andy nearly tipped the third set into his column, forcing Roger to to save three set points with some outstanding defense as well as relatively safe aggression.

Murray and Federer are two of the most versatile players in tennis, and they showed off most of their repertoire, with a number of swinging volleys, backhand overheads, drop volleys, and extended duels of slice backhand drives. One shot that didn't pay off well for either player was the drop shot, which Andy has always loved and is gaining in Roger's affections. Both may want to save the drop shot for a less speedy opponent.

Photo Study of Andy Murray's Strokes

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