Two of the top players in men's tennis will battle for a semifinal berth at the 2014 Australian Open in a must-see match on Day 10.
Roger Federer and Andy Murray, who have combined to win 19 Grand Slams, are set to square off inside Rod Laver Arena Wednesday, Jan. 22 as each looks to secure the final spot in the men's singles semifinals.
Fourth-seeded Murray leads the all-time head-to-head with No. 6 seed Federer 11-9, but he is just 3-4 against the Swiss legend over their past seven meetings.
With the stage set for another epic clash between these two superstars, here, we'll get you set with everything you need to know for Day 10's marquee matchup.
When: Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Start Time: 7:30 p.m. AEDT, 3:30 a.m. EST
Where: Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Park
Live Stream: WatchESPN
What's at Stake?
While both players have grown accustomed to playing in the Australian Open quarterfinals over the years, neither is all that familiar with defeat at this stage.
Federer has earned 10 straight semifinal berths at Melbourne Park dating back to 2004. Meanwhile, Murray has reached the Australian Open semifinals in each of the past four years, losing in the final on three occasions over that time.
Still, even with a victory on Day 10, the winner would have plenty more work left to do. After all, neither Federer nor Murray will be content to bow out in the semifinals or come up short in the final.
Federer Looking to Avenge 2013 Defeat
Federer and Murray haven't squared off since last year's Australian Open, when the Scotsman knocked off the four-time Aussie Open champion in five sets in the semifinals to reach his third career final in Melbourne.
A year later, Federer will attempt to avenge his gut-wrenching defeat to the world No. 4 at Melbourne Park. If he's able to survive and advance, he'd continue his remarkable streak of semifinal appearances Down Under, stretching it to 11 consecutive.
A big key to Federer's success in his rematch with Murray will be how he fares going to the net. As The New York Times' Ben Rothenberg points out, with the help of recently hired coach Stefan Edberg, Federer has been much more aggressive in moving forward and finishing points at the net:
Tonight against Tsonga, Federer went to the net 41 times, won 34 times, making up 47% of the points he won tonight. Fedberg lives. #AusOpen— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 20, 2014
Simple Strategy for Murray
Murray has beaten Federer 11 times since 2006 and clearly has the game to make it a dozen on Day 10. But he'll have to overcome the fact that he's just 1-3 against Federer in their four Grand Slam meetings.
According to BBC Sport's Piers Newbery, the reigning Wimbledon champion knows exactly what he must do in order to have success against Federer:
"I've played him around 20 times. You know how you need to play against him, and you know tactically the things that work and the things that don't work."
Still, despite his recent success, the 26-year-old isn't taking anything for granted, per Newbery:
Obviously last year is pretty relevant because it's on the same court and it will be under the same conditions. But in an individual sport, any day is a new day. Anything can happen. You play 10 percent below your best and you can be off the court quickly. So whether my tactics are great or not, I need to play a great match to win.
After meeting on five different occasions in 2012, Murray and Federer played each other just once in 2013. While both players are still among the sport's elite a year later, plenty has changed.
Federer is coming off one of the most disappointing seasons of his career, and Murray is making his way back from back surgery last fall. Consequently, their Day 10 showdown promises to feature plenty of twists and turns.
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