Roger Federer vs. Andy Murray: Why Federer Will Avenge Olympic Loss to Murray

Ryan DavenportContributor IJanuary 24, 2013

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 23:  Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates winning his Quarterfinal match against Jo-Wilfred Tsonga of France during day ten of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 23, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images)
Lucas Dawson/Getty Images

As expected, both of the 2013 Australian Open men's singles semifinal fixtures feature star-studded clashes, as all four of the top seeds in the tournament emerged from their corners of the draw, setting the stage for two wildly entertaining matches.

However, one obviously carries more compelling storylines than the other.

That's because this will be the first notable meeting between Andy Murray and Roger Federer since the final match of the 2012 London Olympics, in which the 25-year-old Scot upset the legendary Federer with relative ease, and perhaps more importantly, denied the 17-time Grand Slam champion from capturing the only major title missing from his unrivaled résumé.

But that was more than half a year ago, and the 31-year-old has rebounded from a disappointing showing at the 2012 U.S. Open, where Murray recorded his first-ever Grand Slam title victory while Federer failed to advance beyond the quarters at Flushing Waters for the first time since 2003.

No, Federer isn't dominating his opponents like he did five years ago, but that doesn't matter. He's still beating the world's best, and more importantly, he's overcoming adversity.

During his last match, against No. 7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who was a finalist here in 2008, Federer was engaged in a see-saw battle that saw the two stars trade sets until the fifth, when Federer delivered the knockout punch with a 6-3 win in the decisive frame.

Now, with Federer set to take on Murray, who has won both an Olympic Gold and a U.S. Open title in the last seven months, the Swiss icon has an opportunity to demonstrate to the tennis world that he's got enough left in the tank to bag at least one or two more Grand Slams.

It's easy to forget that until the Olympics, Federer has had Murray's number in recent years, as he's won four of their last six matches. That includes a dominant performance in 2012 at the Wimbledon Final, in which Federer rallied back after dropping the first set to win the following three, and a two-set sweep of Murray during the semifinals at the 2012 ATP World Finals.

Yeah, Murray holds a 10-9 career edge over Federer, but when things matter most, the legend delivers, which is why he owns a 3-0 record at Grand Slams.

He'll continue that trend on Friday, and Federer will reach the Australian Open Final for the sixth time in his storied career.