When the draw was made, the first thing everyone looked for was what half of the draw Andy Murray would be in. With the announcement that Murray was in Roger Federer's half, everyone looked towards this semifinal match as the one to see. Coming into the match Murray has been barely been tested, running through all of his inferior opponents very easily. Federer, on the other hand, has had a much tougher draw, facing Tomic, Raonic, and in his last match, had to overcome a very tough Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 5 tight sets. This should be a great match, with the winner getting to play Novak Djokovic in the final. Below we'll look at the match stroke by stroke and see who has the advantage.
Australian Open Men's Semifinal: Roger Federer vs. Andy Murray
Historically, Federer's forehand has been the best shot of all time, but as shown by his match against Tsonga, it's been off. It isn't as penetrating as it used to be, and Murray's is much improved. They're even in the regard, which helps Murray
Backhand: Advantage Murray
Federer's backhand has improved dramatically the past couple years, as he's worked on hitting it flat. Still, Murray's backhand is by far his best shot, and he can use it to dictate points. Murray has the advantage here, but it will be interesting to see if he can press it to his advantage.
Serve: Advantage Federer
Federer's serve has gotten better with age, and while Murray's serve is very useful, no one uses his serve to bail him out of trouble like Federer does. If Federer's serve is on, this could be the difference in the match. If Murray is getting many chances to break, it's going to be really tough for Federer to win this
Return: Advantage Murray
Murray's return game is much like Djokovic's. He has incredible flexibilty and reflexes, and while Federer has improved slightly, his return is still the weakest aspect of his game. Murray can make great servers look mediocre, and this will definitely be the match-up to watch.
Speed: Advantage Murray
Murray's footspeed is better than Federer's, but I think this will be neglibile as Murray doesn't hit the ball as hard as some of the biggest hitters in the game. Federer has a way of getting tough balls back with interest, but Murray depends on his speed and anticipation. If they get into long rallies, Murray has a huge advantage.
Intangibles: Advantage Federer
Murray won the first major of his career in September, beating Djokovic in the final at New York. This should help his mental game, but Federer is still Federer, and he has historically owned Murray in majors, with the last match being Federer's win at the 2012 WImbledon final. Interestingly enough, this will be the first time they meet in what is not a major final, so this should help Murray. The only big win Murray has had over Federer was the win in the gold medal match at the 2012 Olympics, which, while it was a best of five, still didn't have the same feel as a major.
Prediction: Federer in Five.