MELBOURNE, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Roger Federer sets out to reach his 25th grand-slam final in the Australian Open semi-finals on Friday against Britain’s Andy Murray, a player who could be on the cusp of overtaking the Swiss as the second best in the world.
The 25-year-old Scot holds a 10-9 career record against 17-times grand-slam champion Federer, including beating him in the 2012 London Olympics final.
Murray, though, has never beaten Federer in a grand-slam tournament, with the pair meeting in three finals: the 2008 U.S. Open, the 2010 Australian Open and last year at Wimbledon.
Federer’s victory on the grass courts in south-west London last year inspired Murray to his gold-medal winning performance on the same courts a month later.
He went on to win his first grand-slam title at the U.S. Open, ending a 76-year wait for Britain’s first male grand-slam winner.
Murray, who is trying to become the first man in the professional era to win his second grand slam immediately after his first, has been barely pushed throughout the Melbourne tournament, wrapping up all five matches so far in straight sets and spending less than nine hours on court.
The 31-year-old Federer had been little troubled until his quarter-final against seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, when the 27-year-old Frenchman pushed the Swiss into a fifth set in a match that lasted more than 3-1/2 hours.
The winner will meet top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final after the Serbian sent out a devastating message that he was in top form with a 6-2 6-2 6-1 demolition of fourth seed David Ferrer on Thursday. (Editing by Clare Fallon)