Federer vs Murray: Slower Conditions Should Favor Murray

Stephen Fenech@Fenech2491Correspondent IJanuary 24, 2013

Andy Murray is looking to make his second Australian Open final.
Andy Murray is looking to make his second Australian Open final.Julian Finney/Getty Images

Roger Federer and Andy Murray are scheduled to play their semifinal under the lights during the night session Friday in Rod Laver Arena. 

It will be Murray's first night match of the tournament, as his previous matches were all contested under the scorching Australian summer sun. However, Murray prepared himself for the night match by practicing in Hisense Arena after easily dispatching Jeremy Chardy in straight sets. 

On the other hand, this will be Federer's fourth prime-time match of the tournament, so he should be quite familiar with how the court on Rod Laver arena plays at night. 

The disparity in match start time between the two should not play a factor, though. Murray is now a seasoned veteran and has played multiple matches under the lights in Australia. If you don't believe me, just look at his 2010 victory over Rafael Nadal or the semifinal heartbreaker he lost to Novak Djokovic last year Down Under at night. 

Federer's best chance to beat Murray is to be aggressive, with both his serve and forehand.

Unfortunately for Fed-Ex, the conditions will be slower at night, which means it will be more difficult to produce winners. It's certainly still plausible to be successful while playing aggressively at night, it's just marginally easier during the day. 

In Murray's camp, his coaching team will remind him to play his game while being aggressive when the proper situations present themselves. 

This is the first time the two will meet both being Grand Slam champions, as Murray claimed his maiden title at last year's U.S Open. With his new-found confidence and inner-belief that tends to accompany a major victory, Murray should be viewing his semifinal clash with Federer in a different light. 

The slower conditions favor Murray's defensive game, as it will force Federer to push the issue even further. The more long rallies between the two, the better Murray's chances of victory become. 

Murray has never beaten Federer Down Under, but he has never been in a better position to defeat the Swiss Maestro, either. 

While a Murray victory wouldn't be grounds for a passing-the-torch conversation, it would only bolster the Scot's confidence over the aging Federer. 

The conditions for the match couldn't be better for Murray, which shifts the pressure onto his side of the court. After facing a much easier and less-taxing draw, Murray is entering the match fresher than his opponent, both physically and mentally. 

This match will certainly be more entertaining than Djokovic's utter domination of David Ferrer, but the cards are stacked in Murray's favor.