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Federer, Murray reach Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia - Roger Federer decided the crowd didn't get quite enough value from his semifinal romp over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, so he worked on his comedy routine.

After dismissing his 10th-seeded opponent, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2, Friday night, Federer looked toward the final and the last obstacle between him and a fourth Australian Open title - Andy Murray.

Murray, as the Scotsman is incessantly reminded, will be trying to end a long drought for British men at Grand Slam tournaments when he takes the court Sunday night.

"I know he'd like to win the first for British tennis since, what is it 150,000 years?" Federer cracked during his courtside interview.

Reminded later that the dry spell extended only 74 years, Federer smiled. "Oh," he said. "I missed it by a little bit."

The last British man to win a major was Fred Perry in 1936.

Murray is the first British man in the Open era to reach two major singles finals and the first Brit to make it to a championship match in Australia since John Lloyd in 1977.

"He's got a lot of expectations . . . The pressure's going to be tough, so we'll see how he handles it," Federer said. "I'll make sure I'll make it as tough as possible."

Federer, winner of a record 15 majors, will be playing in his 22nd major singles final. He was as relaxed as ever at Rod Laver Arena in dispatching Tsonga in 11/2 hours.

Asked who could have won when playing Federer at that level, Tsonga replied: "I think nobody."

New York Sports