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Federer wins 16th majo

Published:Monday | February 1, 2010 | 12:00 AM

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP):

Roger Federer felt awkward for a moment, celebrating his 16th Grand Slam title while Andy Murray cried for Britain.

Federer timed his run to perfection at the season's first major, beating fifth-seeded Murray 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (11) in the Sunday night final to collect his fourth Australian Open title.

This time last year, Federer was sobbing after a five-set loss to Rafael Nadal at Melbourne Park. He'd missed a chance to equal Pete Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slams, compounding an emotional few weeks.

In the intervening period, he has won on clay at the French Open to complete a career Grand Slam of all four majors and equal the Sampras record. Then he regained his Wimbledon crowd to get the record in his own right at 15. He also became a father of twins.

This time, Murray was on the verge of tears after missing a chance to become the first British man since 1936 to win a major.

The pressure on the 22-year-old Scot had intensified after he'd beaten Nadal in the quarter-finals.

Some tears

"I thought he was actually doing fine until he told me, 'I think there will be some tears,"' Federer said of Murray. "I'm like, 'Don't worry, it will be all right.' And he actually did.

"In a way it was hard to watch, but at the same time I like seeing players who care for the game. It's nice to see, you know. So you wish only the best for him."

Federer enjoys making history. This was his 22nd Grand Slam final, his 18th in the last 19. He compared this triumph with his win last year at Wimbledon when he earned the record for most majors in his own right.

"This felt similar in a way because all of a sudden it was over and it hit me," he said.

"It was very much a roller coaster with the emotions. I guess the match point was over and I was like, 'Oh, my God, this is it. It was great."

Murray was on the verge of tears, drawing deep breaths as he apologised for failing to end a 74-year-old drought for British men.


"Firstly, congratulations Roger, his achievements in tennis are incredible," he said. "He was a lot better than me tonight.

"Hopefully, one time I can come back and win here," he added, his voice breaking. "I got great support back home the last couple of weeks. Sorry I couldn't do it for you tonight but ..."

Murray could barely finish his thank you, explaining: "I can cry like Roger; it's just a shame I can't play like him."

Federer, who had to be consoled by Nadal last year, offered Murray some reassurance.

"Well done for your incredible tournament; you played it fantastic," Federer said.

"You're too good of a player not to win a Grand Slam, so don't worry about it."

Federer dropped serve only twice in the match and hit 46 winners. He said he felt as good as ever.

"I'm over the moon winning this again. I think I played some of my best tennis in my life these last two weeks," he said.

Federer saved five set points and wasted two match points in the tiebreaker with some uncharacteristic shot selection before clinching it when Murray netted a backhand after two hours, 41 minutes.