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Federer eyes 16th career major title

The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 21, 2013 at 08:02 PM
MELBOURNE, Australia -

In command on the court and cracking jokes afterward, Roger Federer advanced to the Australian Open final with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 victory against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Friday in a nearly flawless performance.

Federer, seeking his fourth Australian title, reached his 22nd Grand Slam final. The top-ranked Swiss made a tearful exit from last year's final when he lost to Rafael Nadal.

This time, the man between Federer and another title Sunday will be Andy Murray, whose motivation has been fueled by a 74-year drought for British men in Grand Slam singles. He's playing in his second final, having lost to Federer at the 2008 U.S. Open.

Earlier, Serena and Venus Williams won their fourth Australian Open doubles title, beating Cara Black and Liezel Huber 6-4, 6-3.

Murray defeated Marin Cilic in the semifinals after ousting Nadal in the quarters. Now, the Scot has raised big hopes back home with the prospect of becoming the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to win a major.

"I know he'd like to win the first for British tennis since what is it, 150,000 years?" Federer said to the crowd amid much laughter. "The poor guy who has to go through those moments over and over again."

Federer has won a record 15 Grand Slam singles titles and is in an altogether different position than his opponent.

"I don't feel like the pressure's really on me having to do it again because I did it before," he said later. "I think he really needs it more than I do. So I think the pressure's big on him. We'll see how he's going to handle it. It's not going to be easy for him, that's for sure."

Federer reached his 18th final in the past 19 Grand Slam events by overpowering the 2008 Australian Open finalist. His semifinal loss to Novak Djokovic two years ago is the only break in the finals sequence.

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