Federer enjoys sweet 16th Grand Slam title
By JOHN PYE
MELBOURNE, Australia — Roger Federer experienced a range of emotions these past two Australian Opens.
A year ago, he sobbed on court after losing a thrilling final in five sets.
Federer was all smiles yesterday after rather easily beating Andy Murray, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (11), for a fourth championship in Melbourne and 16th Grand Slam title overall.
"All of a sudden, it was over, and it hit me," Federer said. "It was very much a roller-coaster."
While Murray missed a chance to end a drought for British men at Grand Slam tournaments that stretches all the way to 1936, Federer can now take aim at a true, calendar-year Grand Slam, something no man has accomplished since 1969.
"I'm over the moon winning this again," the 28-year-old Swiss star said. "I played some of my best tennis in my life these last two weeks. It's also very special — the first Grand Slam as a father."
Federer had recently discovered he was to become the father of twins when he lost the Australian final in five wrenching sets against Rafael Nadal last year, then broke down during the presentation.
This time, Federer was in control of the action pretty much throughout against Murray, and afterward, it was the 22-year-old from Scotland whose voice was breaking and who was choking back tears.
"I can cry like Roger," Murray said. "It's just a shame I can't play like him."
Compounding the emotions for Federer in Australia a year ago: He missed a chance to tie Pete Sampras' then-record of 14 Grand Slam singles titles. But he matched that mark a few months later at the French Open, where he also completed a career Grand Slam by winning a major on clay to go with his grass and hard-court titles.
Then he regained his Wimbledon crown for major No. 15. In his first major after his twin daughters were born, he was upset in the U.S. Open final by Juan Martin del Potro.
Now the girls are six months old, and Federer has settled into living and traveling with the family.
Federer also credited the likes of Murray and Nadal for helping him lift his game.
"Now I feel, like, obviously I'm being pushed a great deal by the new generation coming up," he said. "They've made me a better player, because I think this has been one of my finest performances in a long time, or maybe forever."