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Last Updated: Monday, 3 March 2008, 19:48 GMT
Superb Murray overcomes Federer
Andy Murray
Murray has already won two ATP Tour titles this year
Britain's Andy Murray produced some glorious tennis to beat world number one Roger Federer in a three-set thriller at the Dubai Championship.

The unseeded Scot, 20, won 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 6-4 to dump the four-times champion out in the first round on Monday.

Murray wasted a set point in a close first set tie-break which Federer won.

But Murray, who did not face a break point throughout, hit back in stunning fashion with breaks in both the second and third sets to win in style.

The British number one recorded his second straight victory over the Swiss having defeated him in Cincinnati in August 2006, and now boasts a 2-1 head-to-head record.

The loss was also Federer's second in a row - the last time he played was the semi-final Australian Open defeat to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in January.

606: DEBATE
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The 26-year-old had not lost a first round match since his defeat to Dominik Hrbaty in Cincinnati in August 2004, though he lost his opening match at last year's Pacific Life Open to Guillermo Canas after a bye into the second round.

Murray, who has faced recent criticism for pulling out of Britain's Davis Cup team, said he was delighted with the manner of his victory.

"Any time you get to play against someone like that it's just an honour to be on the same court," he said.

"But each time I've played him I've stepped my game up.

"It's tough to close it out against him but I served great and that was really the key.

"Playing against him, composure is the key. Sometimes he's going to play some unbelievable shots and you don't have a chance, so I just had to re-focus.

"I'd been serving well and I don't think he had a break point the whole match. I'm not sure how often that has happened to him."

Federer said afterwards that it was a tricky game for both him and Murray.

"One of the big guys had to go out. It's difficult but it could have been worse. It wasn't a bad match but that's the only positive I can take," he said.

Roger Federer
Federer has reached the last five consecutive Dubai finals

"I thought I was missing forehands by two or three metres. That's awful. You have it lined up and suddenly it's out which comes as a shock."

Showing a significant improvement in his serve, Murray narrowly lost the fast-paced first set 8-6 on a tie break after spurning two set points.

But he clinically took the first break point in the second set to break Federer's serve in the sixth game with a brave forehand pass and went on to level the match and force the decider.

Murray then seized the initiative in the first game of the third set and was presented with an early chance after Federer made a backhand error to give him two break points.

But Federer, playing some sublime shots of his own, held serve and put Murray on the ropes in his next service game - though he could not force the break.

Staying calm amid some poor line calls which forced the umpire to overrule, Murray broke Federer in the fifth game of the third set before serving out for the win.

Murray's mum Judy believes her son has grown up and puts his victory down to him enjoying the sport once again.

"He's enjoying what he's doing, he's enjoying training and he's particularly buying into the physical side," she told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"You can see from the way he covered the court that he is very fast, he's looking really strong out there and he's getting much more power into his first serve.

"He's growing up, he's getting used to playing at the top level events and he knows what he's doing, knows what he wants and he believes in himself now."

After the match, Murray also mentioned the effects of a new aspect to his training regime - Bikram yoga.

"It's ugly. I started doing it in December. It's helped me a lot with my fitness and mental strength," he said.

Murray will now face Spain's Fernando Verdasco in the last 16.

SEE ALSO
Murray v Federer as it happened
03 Mar 08 |  Tennis
Murray to miss GB Davis Cup tie
30 Jan 08 |  Tennis
Battling Murray wins Qatar Open
05 Jan 08 |  Tennis


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