• Australian Open, Day 12

Murray: US Open experience key to beating Novak again

ESPN staff
January 25, 2013
Physical recovery could be key for Andy Murray © Getty Images

Andy Murray is acutely aware he will need to be at his very best to beat Novak Djokovic in the final of the Australian Open.

The Scot will face Djokovic, a three-time champion at the event, in the final of a grand slam for the third time in his career on Sunday, after defeating Roger Federer in an engaging five-set semi-final on Friday afternoon.

The two 25-year-olds have split their previous two grand slam final meetings to date - Murray losing the 2011 final in Australia, before defeating the Serbian at the US Open late last year - but the Brit is under no illusions about what it will take if if he is to win a second major at the weekend.

Djokovic was in dominant form in his own semi-final against David Ferrer and, while Murray did not see that match, the Olympic champion believes the Rod Laver Arena is where Djokovic has historically played his best tennis.

"I heard about it [the semi-final win over Ferrer], I heard he played extremely well," Murray said. "This is the court he has played his best tennis on. He plays great here - obviously I'll have to play my best to win."

He added: "Every time we play each other it's normally a very physical match. He's an unbelievable mover, so I'll have to be ready for pain. I hope it's a painful match - because that means it's a good one."

Murray is hopeful the experience of winning a grand slam at Flushing Meadows will stand him in good stead.

"I hope it helps," he said. "I'm sure if I get into position to win maybe it'll be easier than the US Open. But to get into that position I'm going to have to play an unbelievable match."

Murray was good value for his victory over Federer, although he needed five sets to do so after dropping two tiebreaks to the Swiss. The second of those came in the fourth set just moments after Murray had failed to serve for the match, and he acknowledged that the disappointment nearly derailed his concentration entirely.

"He played so solid in the tiebreaks, some unbelievable shots," Murray noted. "I didn't play the best tiebreak. It's hard when you are serving for a place in a grand slam final ... and then a few moments later you are in a fifth set.

"I had to just keep fighting, he missed some shots early in the fifth set and I just had to dig in."

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