Australian Open Semi Final Tips: Back Murray to come out on top against Federer

Sean is hoping for more Murray celebrations when he takes on Federer

Sean Calvert casts his eye over the eagerly anticipated clash between Roger Federer and Andy Murray in Melbourne and is backing the Scot to reach another Australian Open final..

"Matches between these two have rarely been close, with their last 11 meetings having been won by a total of at least four games.."

Back Murray minus 2.5 games to beat Federer at 1.9520/21

Novak Djokovic put on a master class of tennis to dismiss David Ferrer with disdain in an incredibly one-sided men's semi final in Melbourne this morning - helping to land my handicap bet in the process.

The Serb gave away just five games to Ferrer and my wager on Djokovic minus 7.5 games was pretty much in as early as the first set, with Ferrer unwilling to change tactics and unable to prevent Nole teeing off on both wings to destroy the man who will be the world number four on Monday.

There wasn't such a good result from my handicap bet on Sloane Stephens, who will feel a touch hard done by, as Vika Azarenka was allowed to leave the court for 10 minutes when Stephens was next to serve to stay in the match.

Much will be written and said about the incident, which wasn't against any of the current rules, but was a clear case of gamesmanship by Azarenka, who claimed in her press conference that it was a breathing/rib problem, despite admitting on court straight after the match that it was 'the biggest choke of all time'.

Friday morning sees the highly anticipated clash between Roger Federer and Andy Murray for the right to face Djokovic in Sunday morning's final and I have to side with the Scot in this one.

Murray has enjoyed a dream run through to the semi finals without dropping a set against, it must be said, some pretty inferior opposition and the world number three arrives here much the fresher of the two.

Federer has reportedly been suffering from back problems and that would appear to be the case after a poor display of serving from the Swiss in his quarter final struggle against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Considering that he hadn't been broken in the tournament prior to the Tsonga match, his serving display was not good and 47 unforced errors - most on a really shaky forehand - were perhaps another indicator that he wasn't in great shape physically.

Either way, Murray has a physical advantage coming into this in his attempt to defeat Federer in Grand Slam play for the first time.

Federer has won all three of their meetings at majors for the loss of just one set, but you would think that Murray's thrashing of Federer at the Olympics and his US Open triumph have added that extra belief at the big moments.

Matches between these two have rarely been close, with their last 11 meetings having been won by a total of at least four games.

And the bet I like in this one is for Murray to win with a minus 2.5 game handicap at around 1.9520/21.

I feel that this is more Murray's time and his conditions rather than Federer's. The Swiss hasn't reached a Grand Slam final on a hard court since he beat Murray in the final here back in 2010 and the Scot has an 8-4 record over Fed in matches played outdoors (Fed's Wimbledon win was effectively played indoors).

Any wind - and it has been blustery at times in Melbourne - also favours Murray, who adapted superbly to it in New York and is likely to lead to more errors from the Swiss than the Scot.

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Back Murray minus 2.5 games to beat Federer at 1.9520/21

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