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As it happened - Murray v Federer

Madrid Masters

Semi-final result:


3-6 6-3 7-5

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By Julian Shea

"That was just sensational, the best match Murray has ever played in my opinion! No excuses for Federer this time.""
shearFox, via 606

Murray 3-6 6-3 7-5 Federer
Murray pins Federer to the back of the court with a deep backhand, then hammers home a forehand winner. The first serve goes into the net, and he hedges his bets with a slower second serve.

Nothing too flashy about the final rally, but when Murray sees Federer put the ball in the net, he will not care about the way he won it, just the outcome. Revenge for the US Open final, and Murray follows up his victory in Cincinnati with another Masters Series final place. A superb performance by the Scot, and he now goes 3-2 in his career record against Federer.

Murray 3-6 6-3 6-5 Federer
The first break of the set, and what a time to do it by Murray. Federer saves two break points, the second with an ace which almost has Murray sprawling on the ground in a desperate and forlorn attempt to return it.

A thrilling rally ends with Federer returning wide to give Murray advantage, and another comes to a close when Federer's oh-so-reliable backhand lets him down and goes just long. A huge point for Murray - now victory is within touching distance.

Murray 3-6 6-3 5-5 Federer
At 40-15 Murray twisted himself to produce a double-handed backhand which looked to have won it, only for Federer to reply with a sweetly judged drop-shot. But Murray then smacks down an ace to keep himself in the match.

Murray 3-6 6-3 4-5 Federer
Another hold, so now Federer is just one game from victory - but breaks have been hard to come by in this match, so don't expect it to end too quickly. A possible worry is that at the start of this set, chasing a drop shot up near the net, Murray seems to strike his knee on the post. Fingers crossed that the outcome of such an evenly-balanced game doesn't end up being affected by an incident like that.

Murray 3-6 6-3 4-4 Federer
After two successive holds to love, Murray nets an easy return from close range on the opening point of the game, and also loses the next. The frustration is etched on his face, but rather than start shouting at himself, he keeps a level head, and battles back to hold his serve.

Murray 3-6 6-3 3-4 Federer
This is a real poker match of a game here, with neither player betraying any weakness and matching one another play by play. The crowd certainly can't complain about not getting their money's worth.

"You cannot waste so many break points against the Fed and expect to win... shame"
RightJudgeIam, via 606

Murray 3-6 6-3 3-3 Federer
Murray holds his serve to love again, wrapping up the game with a crashing ace.

Murray 3-6 6-3 2-3 Federer
More breaks points thrown away by Murray. Having blown one, he then produces a superbly judged stretched backhand return from a stunning angle to pull Federer back to deuce, but then the Swiss player does not give him a second bite at the cherry, and holds his serve. If Murray loses this game, he cannot complain that he did not have changes

Murray 3-6 6-3 2-2 Federer
The best type of response there from Murray, taking his frustration out on his opponent.

"Sometimes I wonder what's going on inside his head. Excellent time to revert to playing pat-a-cake tennis."
King of Hi-Vis, via 606

Murray 3-6 6-3 1-2 Federer
A brilliant salvage effort there from Federer.

Murray is 0-40 ahead but when his double-handed backhand return goes just long, he looks very angry with himself. A rocket of a spinning backhand return makes it 30-40, a thumping forehand makes it deuce and his momentum helps Federer to hold his serve.

Murray had a great chance to break there but Federer showed all his class to nip it in the bud.

Murray 3-6 6-3 1-1 Federer
At 40-15 down, Federer hits a fine forehand winner into Murray's left-hand side. This seems to give him a lift, as soon he is up to deuce and a poor close-range volley into the net by Murray gives him advantage.

He loses it on a lob and Murray follows it with a crashing ace to give himself advantage. A good rally ends with Federer slicing wide and Murray holding his serve.

Murray 3-6 6-3 0-1 Federer
Nothing too fancy there, there's too much at stake here for either of them to take any unnecessary risks. Federer holds his serve in a professional manner.

"Very professional set from Murray there. Game on."
King of Hi-Vis, via 606

Murray 3-6 6-3 Federer
And so we go to a third set - Murray clearly has the bit between his teeth now, has cut out the silly errors and is refusing to be intimidated by his opponent.

Murray 3-6 5-3 Federer
You don't get to be world number one for as long as Federer was by cracking under pressure, and the Swiss shows his class by holding his serve when he could have lost the set.

"If it's close, The Fed will take it. But if the boy can continue as he played yesterday, Murray can do this. C'mon Andy!"
Phil, Baker St, via text

Murray 3-6 5-2 Federer
Murray sets the tone for the game with a superb angled backhand to win the opening point of the game, and goes on to hold his serve. One game away from levelling the match now - this is much more like it.

"Cannot watch this match because my Sky is not working and I am gutted because it looks like it could be an awesome finish. Is it as good as it looks?"
cheeryCreps, via 606

I can see what's happening and Murray has been much sharper in this second set, cheery. And if you can't watch it, why not try listening on Five Live Sports Extra?

Murray 3-6 4-2 Federer
Shot of the day so far there, from Murray, - a stunning cross-court double-handed backhand as he charged into the left-hand corner and fired the ball back onto Federer's backhand, the last place anyone was expecting it to go. But two very good serves by Federer see him hold his serve and take the game.

Murray 3-6 4-1 Federer
Murray senses his chance and turns the screw, holding his serve to extend his advantage.

Murray 3-6 3-1 Federer
Murray's concentration and judgement look a bit off today, but a couple of very good return shots force errors from Federer to give him break point. Which he duly takes by going up to the net and forcing the Swiss to run all over the place, before putting the ball in the net.

Murray 3-6 2-1 Federer
Murray plays a lovely double-handed backhand down the line to go 40-15 up, probably his sweetest shot of the day so far, and a change of pace tricks Federer into a long return shot, costing him the game.

Murray 3-6 1-1 Federer
Federer levels things with a fine low backhand passing shot into the right-hand corner of Murray's court. The Scot is starting to mutter to himself - and not in an encouraging, motivating way, more of a "come on, what do you think you're playing at" kind of way.

Murray 3-6 1-0 Federer
On 40-30, Murray successfully appeals against a call for a long return shot, and capitalises on it when Federer nets a backhand shot from the baseline to give him the first game of the set.

"Smart tactics from Fed - trying to keep rallies short and mixing it up to prevent Andy getting into a rhythm."
duggietoo, via 606

Murray 3-6 Federer
Federer's game and with it the set. Very assured stuff there from the Swiss, perfectly calm and level headed whilst Murray has made the odd error here and there and been punished every time.

Murray 3-5 Federer
The perfect reply from Murray, mixing things up a bit and holding his serve to love.

"Looks very much as though this first set is going to Federer, but Murray has shown he can get opportunities on Fed's serve so all is not lost quite yet."
cogen, via 606

Murray 2-5 Federer
Almost a way back for Murray, as he takes Federer to deuce on the Swiss's serve for the first time in the match. But ultimately the former world number one holds his nerve and opens up a three-game advantage, which puts him one game away from the first set.

No great fireworks yet, but it's building up slowly and looks like it could be a very intriguing match.

Murray 2-4 Federer
Murray blinks first. He saves the first break point of the match with a fine double-handed backhand which the Swiss returns into the net, to go to deuce. But a long backhand onto Federer's right-hand side costs him the game, handing Federer a clear lead for the first time.

Live coverage of the match is on Five Live Sports Extra, for those of you who want to listen in.

Murray 2-3 Federer
Federer goes 40-0 up and Murray pulls one point back before putting the ball in the net on the next point to lose the game. It's a bit like the first round of a boxing bout, with the players cautiously circling one another and throwing out the odd tentative jab, but no heavy blows landed yet.

Murray 2-2 Federer
Still nothing between them - Murray wins the game when Federer fails to deal with his fine recovery shot from the back of the court.

Murray 1-2 Federer
The first decent rally of the match comes to an end when Murray lobs long from the baseline. On a couple of occasions, Federer hit impressive forehand strokes into the right-hand corner of Murray's court. Neither player has shown too much yet or really imposed themselves on the match yet.

Murray 1-1 Federer
No complaints there for the Scot - he holds his serve without any problems, despite Federer successfully challenging a line judge's decision at the start of the game.

Murray 0-1 Federer
Not the most fluent of starts, but despite a double fault on the opening point of the match, Federer holds his serve.

1235: All eyes are on Madrid this afternoon as Andy Murray takes on Roger Federer in a rematch of the US Open final. The Swiss player won that day, but the Scot has been in dazzling form this week and so must fancy his chances of revenge. They're warming up now so the action will be starting any minute now...

see also
Listen: Murray v Federer
11 Oct 08 |  Tennis
Madrid Masters gallery
17 Oct 08 |  Tennis
Murray v Monfils as it happened
17 Oct 08 |  Tennis
Murray v Cilic as it happened
16 Oct 08 |  Tennis
Bolelli injury hands Murray win
14 Oct 08 |  Tennis
Murray v Bolelli as it happened
14 Oct 08 |  Tennis

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