Andy Murray's confidence: the Scot has talked a good game before this afternoon's Australian open victory against Federer


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The Independent Online

He's (almost) done it again. Andy Murray made it through to the final of the Australian Open this afternoon, blasting Roger Federer away in the final half-hour of a five set struggle, and now standing between the Scot and his second major title is an in-form Novak Djokovic, who cruised into the final yesterday after demolishing David Ferrer. As the tension builds for what will surely be another pulsating encounter, it's worth revisiting our Tennis editor Paul Newman's interview with a newly bullish Murray, published last October after the 25-year-old beat Djokovic to win the US Open.

First off, Murray said, he's learned to play smart and win games he previously wouldn't have. ""Sometimes in the past when I've been playing well I would win a lot of matches and then when I wasn't playing well I would get down on myself and not figure out exactly how to win all of the time, especially in the Slams. I think I did a very good job of that at the US Open because I didn't feel like I played unbelievable tennis all the time, although the conditions didn't help. I played smart the whole time and was able to stay focused."

His performance today, finishing off Federer after losing a crucial 4th set tie-break, spoke volumes of a new maturity.

Reflecting on the game that won him the US open, Murray, who was so focused he almost served from the wrong side of the court, told Newman: "I felt really, really comfortable at that moment. I don't know the exact reason for it, but I think having put myself in that position a lot of times in my head over the last four or five years of my life".

Soon enough, Murray might find himself in that once more. Let's hope he's equally limber.