• ATP World Tour Finals

Sublime Federer serves quality reminder to Murray

ESPN staff
November 11, 2012 « Di Matteo frustrated but Carragher content with point | Chartbeat test »
Roger Federer was too good for Andy Murray © PA Photos
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Roger Federer ended Andy Murray's hopes of winning the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals with an impressive 7-6 6-2 victory at the O2 Arena on Sunday.

Federer, the defending champion at the traditional end-of-season event, has 20 career indoor titles to his name - more than any other active player in the sport. And that pedigree shone through at the Greenwich venue, as the Swiss overcame a slow start to secure a straight sets victory.

Federer will now face Novak Djokovic in the final, after the Serbian came from a set and a break down to defeat Juan Martin del Potro in the day's earlier semi-final.

"It was a special match," Federer said. "I think the crowd was electric. They both supported both of us and it's a pleasure playing like this.

"I've been around the block, but this was very, very nice. Thanks for making it so cool for us. It's been another great tournament here at the O2 - and we've got one more match to go."

The victory also ensured Federer enjoyed the better of the duo's three meetings in London in 2012 - as he beat Murray in the final of Wimbledon before losing at the Olympics just a few weeks later.

It was Murray who opened sharpest in their latest, eagerly-awaited contest, creating two break points in the opening game and taking the second of them - as Federer dumped a sluggish forehand into the net.

The Scot then looked like he might give the break right back as he slipped 15-30 down, but a couple of precise serves followed by a horrendous forehand wide put him 2-0 ahead inside the first ten minutes.

Federer sneaked onto the scoreboard after being forced to deuce in the third game, finding a bit of extra fire on a serve that was slowly warming up to ward off Murray's attempts to move even further ahead.

After the scoreline moved to 3-2 this time it was Murray who was made to sweat on his own serve - the US Open champion ultimately outwitting his illustrious opponent with slower opening serve to get out of the game intact.

The tide was slowly turning in Federer's direction, and it was not long before Federer was back on terms - a wide forehand giving the world No. 2 a break point opportunity he would take by feasting on a meek second serve.

The scores locked at 4-4, the set duly proceeded to a tiebreak - which mirrored the action that came before it, as Federer fell behind early but restored parity at 4-4 before creating two set point opportunities.

Murray changed rackets this point - a move that stirred boos from the crowd, despite an obvious crack in the frame of his weaponry - and then saved the first set point, but he could not repeat the feat as Federer produced another unstoppable finishing shot.

The second set was similarly competitive, although the scoreline ultimately did not reflect it as Federer won point after close point with some outlandish final strokes.

Murray was clearly getting frustrated by his opponent's sorcery, and ultimately ran out of hunger as Federer looked more and more indestructible - eventually finishing off matters in surprisingly quick-time with a booming forehand down the line.

Murray wasted no time in getting off court, but Federer stayed around for 15 minutes to soak up the atmosphere - signing autographs for fans who had witnessed a performance worthy of his vintage years.

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