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Murray v Federer as it happened
ATP Masters Series, Cincinnati

Second round result:  


7-5 6-4


By Alex Trickett


Murray 7-5 6-4 Federer
Here we go again. . . And this time Murray keeps his cool. A majestic backhand pass beats Federer to set up three match points. The first escapes him, but Murray blazes another pass to claim the biggest win of his career. He looks drained and buries his head in a towel as the crowd rises to him. Is this the day that Britain's next great tennis champion came of age?

Murray 7-5 5-4 Federer
Murray is painting the lines now and the constant pressure takes its toll. Another Federer mishit leaves Murray in an unimaginable position. Say this softly: "Murray will serve for the match."

Murray 7-5 4-4 Federer
From 30-0 to 30-40 on Murray's serve and then the youngster nets at the end of a well-worked point from Federer. Is the chance gone? If there is one area that Murray's coach Brad Gilbert needs to work on, it is Murray serving to consolidate a break.

Murray 7-5 4-3 Federer
Time and again Murray is bossing the long exchanges. He sets up two more break opportunities and converts the second. Stop the press - Murray is two games from a sensational upset. And I don't care if I'm tempting fate this time.

Murray 7-5 3-3 Federer
Pressure serving from Murray leads to another mishit from Federer. There is no doubt that the world number one is below par, but much credit must go to Murray. His attacking play has put the Swiss on the back foot. Make no mistake about that.

Murray 7-5 2-3 Federer
Another routine hold for Federer. Normality restored?

Murray 7-5 2-2 Federer
And a mild surprise. Murray holds as well. Is the pattern of this return-dominated match shifting?

Murray 7-5 1-2 Federer
Now here is a shock. Federer holds.

Murray 7-5 1-1 Federer
Murray is finding his own service game considerably harder to win than Federer's. A loose smash puts him down a break and he surrenders the game with an error. He shows his frustration and knows he needs to hold more service games.

Murray 7-5 1-0 Federer
The script of this match is becoming all too familiar. Murray's backhand is a joy to behold and it is tying Federer up in knots. Break points are the result and although Murray fluffs his lines twice, he converts at the third time of asking.


Murray 7-5 Federer
At long last, I can report a hold of serve and we all know what that means. Teenager Murray leads Federer by one set to love. The decisive point was an ace. If the Scot can consistently find his first serve, he may just run away with this. (Sorry - tempting fate again).

Murray 6-5 Federer
Surprise, surprise - another break point chance for Murray. This time Federer does not see the funny side. He slams a ball out of the stadium, picking up a court violation and then double faults. Incredible scenes.

Murray 5-5 Federer
So here it is - Murray is serving for the set against the best player of the decade. And the pressure gets to him. He falls behind 15-40 when his first serve deserts him and Federer grinds out a break from a long rally.

Murray 5-4 Federer
Another Federer service game, another string of break point chances. This is becoming old hat. Murray can't convert by his own hand, but Federer throws in a double fault at the third time of asking.

Murray 4-4 Federer
It seems I did tempt fate with that last comment - apologies to all Murray fans. Federer awakens from his slumber with a blazing backhand winner to break straight back.

Murray 4-3 Federer
Federer's mistakes let Murray back to deuce and the young Briton pounces with two dazzling passes to break again. All credit to Murray, but you could probably add a couple of zeros to Federer's world ranking on the evidence of his tennis today.

Murray 3-3 Federer
Federer is a pale shadow of his normal self, but Murray gifts him three cheap points and suddenly faces break back point. The Scot duly serves a double fault. That's the bad side of Murray's game - he is still too inconsistent.

Murray 3-2 Federer
Federer finds his groove and holds to love, but the world number one is still a break down. Or am I tempting fate?

Murray 3-1 Federer
A booming backhand wins Murray a long rally at 30-15 and drives him towards another hold. It's all surprisingly smooth for the British number one at the moment. But can it last?

Murray 2-1 Federer
What do you know? Murray is the aggressor in these early games. Punishing returns from Federer's second serve take him to a second break point. This time a frustrated-looking Federer hits a backhand just out. He challenges the call, but it is upheld and Murray is a break up.

Murray 1-1 Federer
A comfortable service hold for Murray. His service is under scrutiny here - it was probably his weak link in Toronto last week when he reached the semi-final.

Murray 0-1 Federer
Murray opens his shoulders and blasts a winner down the line. It seems to unsettle Federer, who makes an error and then serves a double fault. At break point, Murray has a glorious passing opportunity, but he squanders it and the world number one holds. A costly miss for Murray.

The players are out on court under hot and sunny skies. The world's best player (Federer) is up against the world's best teenager (Murray) for a place in the third round.

The only time this pair played was in Bangkok in the 2005 final of the Thailand Open. Federer won that meeting 6-3 7-5.

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