Andy's on fire! Federer burned up by dazzling Brit star in Shanghai Masters final

By Mike Dickson Tennis Correspondent
Last updated at 3:22 PM on 18th October 2010

Whenever Andy Murray and Roger Federer meet they end up inflicting scars on one another, and on Sunday it was the British No 1's turn to leave an indelible mark.

His superb 6-3, 6-2 victory over the great Swiss to win the Shanghai Masters title was the biggest beating dished out in all their 13 meetings and further proof that Murray has his measure when the mood takes him.

Federer, much to his frustration, knows this and has won only five of their encounters. But he will console himself that in their most important match of the season, the Australian Open final, it was he who left the biggest mark of all.

Look what I've got: Murray proudly holds aloft the trophy after victory in Shanghai

Look what I've got: Murray proudly holds aloft the trophy after victory in Shanghai

Murray would happily swap his two Masters titles of this season - both achieved in finals against Federer, the other one being Toronto in August - for a victory in Melbourne, but this 85-minute romp was reassurance of his sublime talent.

Murray has an 8-5 record over Federer, but lost their two best-of-five set matches.

BEST-OF-FIVE SETS
US Open 2008: Federer 6-2, 7-5, 6-2
Aus Open 2010: Federer 6-3, 6-4, 7-6
BEST-OF-THREE SETS
Bangkok 2005: Federer 6-3, 7-5
Cincinnati 2006: Murray 7-5, 6-4
Dubai 2008: Murray 6-7, 6-3, 6-4
Madrid 2008: Murray 3-6, 6-3, 7-5
China 2008: Murray 4-6, 7-6, 7-5
Doha 2009: Murray 6-7, 6-2, 6-2
Indian Wells 2009: Murray 6-3, 4-6, 6-1
Cincinnati 2009: Federer 6-2, 7-6
London 2009: Federer 3-6, 6-3, 6-1
Toronto 2010: Murray 7-5, 7-5
Shanghai 2010: Murray 6-3, 6-2

It was timely enough, too, for it comes only six weeks after his second most disappointing reverse of 2010, the third-round exit at the US Open to the other, lesser Swiss, Stanislas Wawrinka.

When Murray rises to the challenge of the big points like he did, displaying brilliant controlled aggression to deny Federer six break points and breaking serve four times, you wonder how he managed to lose to Wawrinka over five sets at Flushing Meadows.

You can only think that the difference lies with the fact that yesterday was one of the nine Masters events, held in a distant suburb of Shanghai, whereas the US Open is where it matters most to him, and where he puts per haps even more pressure on himself than at Wimbledon.

Regardless, he continues to relish playing Federer.

Murray said: 'It's incredibly difficult but I really enjoy the challenge of playing him, I don't fear playing him. Maybe it's that when I play him I know that I have to play great tennis to win.

Great Scot: Andy Murray was in fine form throughout the Shanghai Masters final

Great Scot: Andy Murray was in fine form throughout the Shanghai Masters final

'I need to play like this for a whole tournament in the Slams. I don't think my game needs to improve much. I need to keep winning events like this. When you beat Roger and Rafa (Nadal) it gives you confidence you can beat them in the Slams.'

Murray displayed the sort of purpose that deserted him in New York and the victory sets him up for the last three events of the season, defending his 2009 title in Valencia, followed by the Paris Masters and, most importantly, the season-end Barclays ATP Tour World Finals in London.

Second best: Federer lost out to Murray in Shanghai

Second best: Federer lost out to Murray in Shanghai

The points garnered in China also put him back in touch with Federer and Novak Djokovic in the battle for the No 2 ranking. Murray was in sparkling form from the start to break immediately, and when Federer threatened to pull back an early break responded with an ace.

The Swiss became increasingly frustrated in the second set, complaining bitterly about one overrule, as he failed to convert his break points and made 30 unforced errors in all.

Fan-tastic: A big crowd turned out in Shanghai to see messrs Murray and Federer

Fan-tastic: A big crowd turned out in Shanghai to see messrs Murray and Federer

This, as is often the case, was partly the result of having to press too hard when faced with the extraordinary defence of the 23-year-old Scot. Murray also took a shine to Federer's second serve and punished it heavily, winning 76 per cent of those points.

Particularly encouraging has been his greater aggression on his forehand and an improvement in his second serve.

'Andy played great, he didn't give me much and made me work extremely hard, making me go for shots that I couldn't pull off,' said Federer, who was playing his first event since the US Open.

Smoking: Murray enters the arena before beating Federer to lift the Shanghai Masters trophy

Smoking: Murray enters the arena before beating Federer to lift the Shanghai Masters trophy

'I had a few chances and maybe could have swung the momentum around. The next step is for Andy to win a Grand Slam, but it's hard to make that breakthrough.'

In all it was more evidence that Murray can beat any player at any time, with the likely exception of Nadal on a clay court. But then we knew that already.

 


 

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The comments below have been moderated in advance.

'I will be more impressed when he thrashes someone in a Grand Slam!'
- Cynthia Herbert, Nr Truro Cornwall, 18/10/2010 12:58

I doubt he loses any sleep at night knowing you're not yet impressed.
Your comment is straight from the Roger Federer school of bad loser statements, he couldn't even congratulate Andy on his win without mentioning his next step is to win a slam, yet Andy has spoken very highly of him in the past.
Andy has thrashed Federer more times than Federer has thrashed Andy and that alone speaks volumes. Well done lad.

Click to rate     Rating   19

well done andy, he is a briliant player. federer bad sport, never ever gracious in defeat, always has to have last word. what a sourpuss.

Click to rate     Rating   16

Perhaps Murray could learn how to be a sportsman if he engaged young Tom Daley to show him how to win and lose in a competition. On second thought that would be asking far too much from Tom

Click to rate     Rating   22

Blisteringly paced, brilliant tennis from Murray. No question about it - Murray will win slams. He is a hero of British tennis already. Thank God for Murray or we would have nothing to be critical about!

Click to rate     Rating   17

The big players do it when it MATTERS - in a grand slam.

Click to rate     Rating   20

I will be more impressed when he thrashes someone in a Grand Slam!

Click to rate     Rating   31

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