Article

Federer shuts down night vision debate

23 January 2013 15:49

Roger Federer says playing frequently at night will give him no distinct advantage over Australian Open semi-final opponent Andy Murray.

Murray's camp were reportedly aggrieved that the Swiss second seed would go into their final-four clash having played four straight matches under the lights of Rod Laver Arena, while the US Open champion would have to make his first night appearance at the tournament in the highly anticipated affair on Friday.

But after surviving a five-set struggle against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Wednesday, the Swiss second seed said he felt there was no benefit to having already been on night shift heading into his 10th consecutive semi at Melbourne Park.

"No," was Federer's reply when asked if he believed there was an advantage playing night rather than day matches.

"(It) doesn't play that different (night to day) after all. It wasn't scorching heat and stuff. If every day would have been 35 degrees it would have been a different story, but it wasn't.

"I think we know the reasons why that (the schedule) happens, because of my draw more than not. It's hard to juggle all these things. I don't think it's an advantage, to be quite honestly. I don't think it's a big deal."

Federer said he was unaware he had never lost to Murray at slam level, putting the statistic into the irrelevant pile.

"Now that you say it, I look back and it's true," he said, when asked about his dominance of Murray in majors.

"But I don't go into it with a mindset that I've never lost to him in slams. He's beaten me so many times. He's beaten me more times than I've beaten him (10-9 head-to-head).

"But I'm happy you've given me the positive news, a good vibe. I'll try to remember that when I walk out, but it doesn't play a huge role for me."

Losing quarter-finalist Tsonga claimed Federer is fitter now than he was in 2011 - the same year the Frenchman came from two sets down to beat the then six-time (now seven-time) Wimbledon champion at SW19.

"I think today I just play better," Tsonga said, when asked what was different from his win over the Swiss at Wimbledon.

"I just played better, because I think Roger was playing better at this time. He's more fit now. In 2011 I think it was not a really good year for him, and I'm sure he's more in a good shape.

"He was in a good shape last year and he's in a good shape at the beginning of this year, so I think it's a different player."

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