Roger Federer – Andy Murray Australian Open 2010 Final Analysis

Roger Federer – Andy Murray Australian Open 2010 Final Analysis

Roger Federer and Andy Murray started the final of the Australian Open 2010 in a very controlled manner. There was of course a lot on stake for both players.

Roger Federer volleys at the Australian Open 2010 (Photo by PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images)

Andy Murray was looking for his first Grand Slam title while Roger was looking to extend his record of Grand Slams to 16 and slowly but surely create a record that most likely won’t be broken for many years to come.

Here’s what happened in the match…

First set

Andy’s tactics was immediately obvious – play to Roger’s backhand over and over again and hope that Roger becomes frustrated with his inability to finish the point and get out of backhand-to-backhand exchanges.

Roger on the other hand didn’t show any spectacular shots in the first 7 games.

But at 4:3 for Federer on Murray’s serve, Roger moved to another gear. He started to be more aggressive in his forehand, and went a few more times down-the-line with his backhand for a clean winner.

He broke Murray’s serve and with effective serving closed the set with 6:3. The first set statistics showed that Murray played 80% of the shots on Federer’s backhand in the obvious attempt to frustrate Roger.

His shots namely were not so fast and accurate to actually put Roger under pressure and on defense. It was just an attempt to replicate what Nadal does to Federer – play to backhand over and over again and neutralize Roger’s offense and simply tire him down physically and mentally.

That obviosuly didn’t work.

Second set

I was expecting Andy to change his tactics in the second set since Roger didn’t show any signs of being under pressure on the backhand side and usually found ways to get out of the backhand rallies and attack with the forehand.

Andy soon found himself in trouble since Roger began to play close to his best tennis. Andy was a break down at 3:1 and 15:40 but saved himself with good serving to get to at least 3:2.

Roger won his service game at 4:3 to go ahead 5:3 in 59 seconds – to give you some idea what was going on in the second set. He closed the set with another comfortable service game at 6:4.

Roger had 16 winners and 11 unforced errors and Andy had 7 winners and 7 unforced errors in the this second set – so it was obvious that Andy was not doing enough and that Roger was taking control of the match.

Was Andy Murray going to change anything with his approach now? Hit more shots to the forehand and open up the court more? Come more times to the net?

Third set

Andy did add some pace to his shots in my opinion and also forced a few more errors from Federer. But of course, since that is not his A game but plan B, he also made more unforced errors.

Andy’s plan B combined with Roger’s letdown resulted in a service break and Andy managed to hold for a 5:2 lead. Roger didn’t show any emotion and held his next service game at love.

Both players fought well in the next game but Roger’s face showed total focus. Andy’s first serve wasn’t firing at all cillinders and Roger simply outplayed him from the baseline.

One thing that Roger added in the third set was more body serves and most resulted in a blocked and short reply which Roger quickly punished with a big forehand.

Roger held for 5:5 with little trouble but so did Andy for 6:5. Another love game for Federer and players ended up in the tie-break.

Both players played really well in the tie-break but Andy managed to score a decisive mini-break with a great dipping forehand passing shot to go ahead 6:4.

But the same forehand let him down when he was attacking a short ball and the score was 6:6. Murray had a set point but his volley skills let him down on a relatively easy ball for this level of play.

Both players had chances to score a decisive point but the nerves were obviously affecting both players. Roger did eventually play a fantastic drop volley to reach 10:9 but misjudged Murray’s passing shot on another drop shot and Andy leveled to 10:10.

Both held serve and Roger had another match point at 12:11 which he converted through Andy’s unforced error.

This was Roger’s 16th Grand Slam title and at the moment all that his biggest challengers like Murray, Djokovic and Nadal can hope is that Roger will have a really bad day. If not, Roger is at the moment a class better player.

Related posts:

Andy Roddick – Roger Federer US Open 2007 QF Match
Novak Djokovic Beats Andy Murray In The Australian Open 2011 Final
Thoughts On Roddick – Murray Semi-Final Wimbledon 2009 Match
The Epic Story Of The Roger Federer – Andy Roddick Wimbledon 2009 Final
Roger’s 70th Win In A 100th Final

Essential Tennis Instruction – FREE Video Lessons on How to Improve Your Serve

This entry was posted on Sunday, January 31st, 2010 at 11:58 am and is filed under andy murray, Australian Open, Roger Federer. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

14 Responses to “Roger Federer – Andy Murray Australian Open 2010 Final Analysis”
AGS Says:
January 31st, 2010 at 1:39 pm
To me the key was during the third set tie break. This is where the champions seperate themselves from the rest. Roger never lost focus and never got overly anxious. Andy hardly nailed a first serve, especially as the pressure got higher around 6-6. You can’t expect to beat the best ever if you don’t get in any first serves down the stretch. If he’d served like at the beginning of the third, he might have won that tie break, but . . .FOCUS, that’s what puts Roger and Rafa a notch above the rest.


emil Says:
January 31st, 2010 at 1:40 pm
Murray has to improve first and second serve. His first serve (1) was not accurate enough. His second serve (2) should be done with more topspin. Federer don’t have problems with backand stroke by normal ball. He has problems with high, spin balls like Nadal (3) was doing two years ago. Murray was too much predictible (4) with playing very often and repeatedly to the backand side. He should play more unexpected backand parallels to the forhand side of the court. Regards, Emil, Ljubljana.


Tim Says:
January 31st, 2010 at 3:27 pm
Today’s match was certainly at a very high level.
I wonder do you have any opinions on the Federer-Davydenko match?
In particular, how did Federer swing the momentum in the second sets in just a few points?


Sebastien Scaux Says:
January 31st, 2010 at 5:26 pm
Before the match started I would have put my money on A.Murray. He looked in great form and his work with Jez Green makes him a great athlete (take a look at his amazing footwork). I also thought that his defeat in his first Slam final against Roger would have given him some experience in this match. Unfortunately for him Roger (the Great Roger) was a class above.

In this finale, to me, the most amazing shot of Roger’s weaponery was his short angled backhand. It was devastating. This is the shot that I will personally try to analyse, copy and teach.

Nowadays hitting deep his not enough – drop shot then lob not enough the new way to play is the short angle balls allowing you to open the court for the easy finish.

In conclusion LET’S GO ROGER, LET’S GO


Hari Says:
January 31st, 2010 at 6:07 pm
Neat analysis. Another change that Murray brought about in 3rd set is that he engaged in more forehand to forehand exchanges especially adding pace. Fed has tendency to stick to that pattern when a opponent challenge him with deep forehand shots and sometimes starts to mistime/shank the ball. He did a few of that it in 3rd set, but Murray’s tactics were too little too late.


Hari Says:
January 31st, 2010 at 6:11 pm
To add, most players are scared of trading shots to the formidable FH of Fed. This helps Fed since he switches to forehand at his discretion from other patterns and is the best ever at the transition play.


Larry Buhrman Says:
January 31st, 2010 at 7:22 pm
Dear Tomaz,

It was great to receive another very interesting email from you. I enjoy
your analyses of matches that teach us to better understand the many
complexities of players from so many aspects, i.e. stategy, endurance,
psychology, technique, etc., etc. I agree with all of your remarks on this email. However, I continue to be confused about your opinion on Fed’s backhand and one handed vs. two handed backhands in general. I apologize for bringing this up, since you stated that you really don’t want
to get into this debate. However, you did send many of us a statement paper written by a teaching pro from an eastern European country who
made some very strong arguments for the superiority of the two hander
for drives and topspin over the one handed backhand, although the two handed backhand player would also require a one handed slice. I believe you said you agree that 99% of touring pros will be using two hands in the near future for the backhand drive and topspin shots and that they would be better off for doing so. Do you still feel that way?
When I consider the vast complexities of tennis and tennis players and study players like Kuerten, Sampras, Fed., Henin, Wawrinka, Haas, Gonzalez, Budge, Laver, Vilas, Rosewall, Graf, and so many more outstanding pros that the one handed backhand inabled them to use one
arm for all the backhand shots including transitioning so smoothly into backhand drop shots , volleys, sidespin slices, approach shots, and probably so much more, and to make it easier to return those balls to the backhand that might be out of reach for two hands, I can’t help but think that there will be many more great one handed backhand players who will dominate in the future. I do agree that it is easier to teach beginners the two handed backhand and this could account for more advanced players sticking with it, unlike what Sampras did. I also think that we are going to see a greater majority of top athletes going back to an all court game.
Please let me know where I am wrong. Thank you very much for your help and comments.
Larry Buhrman


Indra Says:
January 31st, 2010 at 10:47 pm
Watching RF in a major final, a little bit boring… Isn’t it…?


sumedh Says:
February 1st, 2010 at 12:38 am
All of you are very good analysis I personally fill that rogers mind is calm,cool,confident and early mach interviewee roger says Murray’s aggressiveness .


Arturo Hernandez Says:
February 1st, 2010 at 11:15 am
It’s funny that Nadal gets criticized for being a pusher and just putting everything back. But from the AO 2010 final it is clear that Nadal is much more than that. Murray needed to attack Federer and put him on the defensive. He just looked passive and weak. He is a great player but it appears he has no offense. Is there any grand slam champion whose plan A was defense?

I don’t think Murrary really believed he could win this match. So he played not to lose and Federer just stayed focused and consistent.



LE Graham Says:
February 1st, 2010 at 2:37 pm
Murray’s fortunes hung on his serve which was not up to the occasion
at least on this occasion


Max Says:
February 2nd, 2010 at 8:05 am
Perhaps I’m incorrect in this – But but look closely at the post match interview.
I think Murray faked the tears- I believe it was another of these pranks he and his entourage played at during training.
Look closely and i think you will see a grin behind these tears.
The bet i guess was – you will have to cry if you lose.
Pity! It was not genuine as i think – Great champions do not like being second best.
It would have convinced me that he had genuinely learned a lesson – and would be motivated to work harder so as not to lose in the future.

Being second best is perhaps a British thing.


manu Says:
February 5th, 2010 at 12:55 pm
Nadal a battu Federer 5 fois en 7 finales de grand chelem et les deux perdues ont ete en 4 et 5 sets
Nadal est le seul a avoir la mentalité nécessaire pour battre Federer qui n’est jamais aussi fort que lorsque tout se deroule comme prévu

Federer est un joueur surdoué mais dont l’attitude hautaine le trahit face a des joueurs dont la mentalité l’esprit de combat est irreprochable
ainsi quand le joueur adverse est mentalement au meme niveau que federer il perd (pour diverses raison comme l’experience en finale de grand chelem comme bagdhatis, djokovic, murray, gonzalez ou le trop grand respect envers le “meilleur joueur de tous les temps”)

Nadal a ce quelque chose en plus qui lui permet d’affronter un tel joueur
certes avec murray il est le seul a etre positif en confrontations face a federer mais seul nadal a gagne 5 finales sur 7 !!!!


Dave Diggle Says:
February 16th, 2010 at 6:18 pm
As a Peak performance mind coach I see this behavioural patterning frequently and in many different sports however particularly endurance oriented sports. When the pressure is on the one who allows their emotions to dictate their play inevitably loses composure, focus and objectivity and frequently the match.

Not only is high level emotion physically draining it is incredibly psychologically draining.
This becomes a perpetual cycle of the more emotional you get the more physically fatigued you become and the more physically fatigued the more emotional.
For me the difference that is Federer is his ability to control his emotions, to be able to leave behind him bad plays and to stay focused on moving forward with objectivity.
If you watch the players that get emotionally attached to lost points they spiral out of control and away from the initial game plan. The secret is to learn from the play and move on, you can’t change the play that has happened however you can change the play yet to happen.