Don’t think for a minute that Roger Federer has lost the burning desire to win tennis matches, or that this latest loss will end his stellar career.
Federer might be in the final sets of his career, but he's not going quietly.
Andy Murray advanced to the Australian Open final today after defeating Federer in a five-set match peppered with some colorful language from both players.
Federer let the expletives fly on several occasions as he lost to Murray 6-4, 6-7, 6-3, 6-7, 6-2 in Sydney today.
After swearing loudly twice – but among some indistinguishable muttering, The New York Times said – Federer let fly an obvious F-bomb with Murray poised for victory.
“You f-ing stopped,” he shouted at his Scottish opponent after Murray ended a particularly long rally at the net.
It reached a point that BBC broadcasters apologized to viewers for allowing the salty language through the censors, according to the NYT.
Neither player appeared anxious to continue the debate during post-match interviews.
“Stuff like that happens daily in tennis matches,” Murray said, The Times reported. “You know, in sport, the stuff that some people say on football pitches and in basketball and all sorts of sports. I mean, it was very, very mild in comparison to what happens in other sports.”
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Mild, yes, but perhaps it was surprising given Federer’s normally unflappable persona. Long looking for chinks in Federer’s armor, there will be those who suggest Roger is finally ready to retire.
Many believed Federer, 31, would never again capture the world’s No. 1-ranking to the likes of Raphael Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Murray.
That was before Nadal’s injury woes and Federer winning Wimbledon last year. So with this loss to Murray and Murray’s victories at the Olympics and US Open last summer, are we finally witnessing a passing of the torch?
It certainly appeared that way in Friday’s match, with Murray serving 21 aces compared to Federer’s five. Murray also hit 19 more winners than the Swiss Mister and 13 fewer unforced errors.
It was the 25-year-old Murray’s first victory over Federer in a Grand Slam.
“After the wins at the Olympics and the US Open, maybe there's just a little bit more belief or he’s a bit more calm overall,” Federer said, the Telegraph reported.
“You want to be excited, but you don’t want to go overly crazy, each and every point. So it seems like he has more peace when he plays out there, and in the process he has better results.”
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