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Page last updated at 10:59 GMT, Friday, 2 January 2009

Murray v Federer as it happened

World Tennis Championship, Abu Dhabi:

Semi-final result:

A Murray (GB) bt R Federer (Swi)

4-6 6-2 7-6 (8-6)

LATEST ACTION (all times GMT)
606: DEBATE
To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Piers Newbery

THIRD SET:

1311: "Quality effort Andy."
From trundle via text at notts uni!

1310: "I'm not much of a tennis fan really but wow."
From Darren, Cambridge, via text on 81111

1309: "Well done Andy! Go for number 1."
From George via text on 81111

Murray 7-6 (8-6) Federer
It's a bit of an epic but Murray comes through on his fourth match point, after Federer fights back brilliantly from 6-3 down. It's the Scot's third straight win over Federer but won't count to their official head-to-head as it's an exhibition event. Rafael Nadal takes on Nikolay Davydenko in the second semi-final so we could have another cracker tomorrow. Thanks for your thoughts via text and 606.

1302: "God. I hope Andy isn't going to give me the same feelings as my Xmas dinner. Really looking forward too but ultimately a damp squib!"
Steve from whitstable via text on 81111

Murray 6-6 Federer
Murray takes us to a tie-break by holding to 15, and you can't really ask for much more than that on January 2nd can you? I'll be updating the score at the top of this page.

Murray 5-6 Federer
The pressure momentarily shifts to Federer when he makes a poor error for 30-30 but the Swiss powers his way out of trouble, sealing the game with an overhead. Some of the screaming for him is verging on the wailing now. Nadal is in the stands keeping an eye on things, with very frizzy hair - must be the heat.

1252: "As a fellow Dunblane bloke, c'mon Andy, give us something to cheer about."
From anon via text on 81111

Murray 5-5 Federer
Murray arrests the slide with a decent game but he looks a bit pooped. We could be on for a tie-break here.

Murray 4-5 Federer
Federer is finding some fantastic angles with his forehand now and the crowd - very much pro the Swiss - are cheering his every move. In fact, I'd go as far as to say whooping and hollering. There's plenty of applause for one fine return winner from Murray but it's not enough.

Murray 4-4 Federer
Great stuff from Federer, charging to the net at every opportunity like ye olde tennis of yore. With the pressure on, Murray starts to misfire and successive errors from the Briton get Federer back on level terms.

1243: "I'm at work alone but can't put the radio on for fear of annoying the people in the next office...andy has cheered me up though!"
From Alex in Blackburn via text on 81111

Murray 4-3 Federer
Yes, as is traditional the moment I suggest victory is in the bag, said bag is found to have a massive hole in it. Federer holds serve and we now have quite a tasty finish in prospect.

Murray 4-2 Federer
There is a brief wobble for Murray as he throws in a double fault on his way to 30-40 but he gets himself out of that hole. However, Federer has perked up a bit now and he converts his second chance of the game with a solid volley.

Murray 4-1 Federer
Well, Federer might understandably say that this is just a warm-up for the bigger battles to come but for the best part of two sets he's been taken apart by Murray. A couple more superb winners give the British number one a double break.

1231: "Don't worry Pete, Psychology shouldn't count as an A level anyway!"
From Freddy, annoyed the graduates at work are still on holiday, via text

Murray 3-1 Federer
A swift love-service game sees Murray consolidate the break and he's in complete control now.

Murray 2-1 Federer
Murray looks much the sharper at the moment and gets two more break points at 15-40 following a big forehand winner down the line. A long rally ensues but Federer finally capitulates with a tame error and the Scot is within sight of another win over the great man.

Murray 1-1 Federer
Murray levels after one of the latest line calls I've ever heard. It's a comfortable hold despite that.

1223: "An anagram of 'Roger Federer and Andy Murray' is 'A rearranged dry merry fondue'. I fail to see how this is just a coincidence with murray about to destroy the swiss man at christmas time!"
From Pete via text on 81111

Murray 0-1 Federer
Blimey. Murray opens the final set with the kind of cross-court forehand lob that I would pay good money to make just once in my life. Good money being up to a tenner. Federer remains unruffled and reels off four straight points to edge ahead.

1220: "Should be revising for AS psychology exam on thursday right now, but no here i am endlessly clicking refresh! Come on fed."
From anon via text on 81111

1217: Murray does not ask for the trainer at the changeover so we continue. I am preparing for the final set with a post-Xmas health-kick lunch of wholemeal wraps filled with chicken and spinach. The tinfoil would have had more flavour.


SECOND SET:

Murray 6-2 Federer
Murray takes the set to 30 after Federer absolutely creams a couple of forehands with the set slipping away. The British number one does not look happy with his back though, which is a bit worrying.

Murray 5-2 Federer
It's a ding-dong Christmas classic. Or something. Murray breaks for the third time this set after Federer makes two desperate forehand errors. The second, on break point, prompts gasps around the stadium as he thumps a mid-court forehand about six feet long.

1213: "Murray can definitely take Fed from here. COME ON ANDY!"
From anon via text on 81111

1212: "Its a cold winters day..im back at work selling gas and electric to depressed business owners.... andy give me something to cheer about 6-0 6-0 sets 2 and 3."
From anon via text on 81111

Murray 4-2 Federer
The crowd are on their feet after a spectacular first point that Federer eventually takes. Federer looks to have gone long with a backhand approach and Murray clearly thinks about appealing as he sends up a towering lob. Too late - Federer steps in and smacks away a forehand for 15-40, and the Swiss gets one of the breaks back with a Hawkeye challenge.

Murray 4-1 Federer
Is it still Christmas? Murray loses his opportunity for a first bagel against Federer as the Swiss gets his serve working again.

1204: "Thank god the tennis season is back - xmas is driving me crazy! C'mon Federer!"
From anon via text on 81111

Murray 4-0 Federer
Smooth as you like from Murray now and this set looks done and dusted, but can he bagel the Fed?

1200: "My f5 key is fading fast with me bashing it every 10 seconds! At odds of 2/1 i found it impossible not to back federer to win 2-0. Strangely i'm still cheering for andy though!"
From Didsbury Chris via text on 81111

Murray 3-0 Federer
It's all going Murray's way now as he frames a cross-court forehand for a winner and 0-40. Federer continues to play as aggressively as possible - something that helped him beat Murray at the US Open - and it gets him back to deuce. Murray earns another break point when his return proves too much for the serve-volleying Federer and the Swiss shanks a backhand wide to give up the double break.

Murray 2-0 Federer
Murray's first ace of the day takes him to 40-15 and he takes the game with a delicate drop volley. Coach Miles Maclagan and girlfriend Kim Sears are among those soaking up the 26 degree heat in the stands.

Murray 1-0 Federer
After looking distinctly miffed at the changeover, Murray gets off to a much better start in the second set, cracking a winning return on the opening point and moving to three break points at 0-40. However, Federer is serving well today and gets back to deuce before dumping a forehand in the net. Murray finally takes advantage on his fourth break point of the game, scrambling superbly behind the baseline before firing a forehand down the line that Federer cannot handle at the net.

1148: According to the BBC weather website, it's 26 degrees in Abu Dhabi today. Which is nice for them.


FIRST SET:

Murray 4-6 Federer
Murray is in cruise control at 40-0 but lets his concentration slip. Federer gets back to deuce and then hits a thumping forehand winner for set point. A double fault from Murray brings a good set to a very disappointing end.

Murray 4-5 Federer
This time it's Murray who closes on the crucial break at 30-30 and he puts up a towering backhand lob that Federer does well to put away. The Swiss holds.

Murray 4-4 Federer
Murray is struggling to find his first serve at the moment and Federer is threatening at 30-30 after punching away a forehand from the net. Murray gets out of trouble with a decent serve and a Hawkeye challenge that goes his way.

Murray 3-4 Federer
Federer holds to love this time and watching girlfriend Mirka looks in serene mood behind her sunglasses. Or she may be asleep.

1135: "Welcome back guys. Here's to 2009. C'mon Andy."
From Derek Kirkcaldy via text on 81111

Murray 3-3 Federer
Murray gets back on level terms despite allowing Federer to recover from 40-0 to 40-30 down. A big serve sees off the danger.

Murray 2-3 Federer
Murray gets to deuce by hooking a forehand cross-court past the incoming Federer. The British number one was so far behind the baseline he was endangering the ball boys but it worked. It's a similar story on break point and this time Federer sticks an awkward half-volley into the net. We're back on serve.

Murray 1-3 Federer
Murray gets off the mark with a love game that sees Federer dump a very makeable volley in the net. Should Murray lose this match, the good news is that it won't go on their head-to-head record as it's an exhibition tournament. The bad news is he's out of the running for $250k.

Murray 0-3 Federer
Good stuff this - Murray earns a break-back point by forcing a volley error from Federer but the Swiss controls the next rally and swats away a big forehand for deuce. Murray challenges again but is way off the mark, before Federer plays a forehand dummy drop shot - if you can picture that. The world number two eventually takes a tight game with a serve-volley.

1119: "Happy New Year. Lovely to have tennis back. Looking forward to another great Murray year as he settles into the 'big four.' Aussie or US Open this year.C'mon Andy!"
From Phil Baker St via text on 81111

Murray 0-2 Federer
Murray is pegged back to 30-30 when he spoons a forehand over the baseline. The Scot then challenges a line call unsuccessfully and Federer converts his first break point.

Murray 0-1 Federer
A very smooth start for Federer who holds serve to love in about 30 seconds. Apparently Murray put four kilos of muscle on over the winter break. I put more than that on over the last week.

1110: Murray was in fantastic form on Thursday, dropping just four games as he thrashed James Blake. Federer will have been worried if he saw the Scot in action, although the Swiss had a bye so he might have had better things to do with his day off.

1105: The players are out in a sunlit but windy arena, all smiles at the moment.

1100: "I am a fed appreciator but have to say murray will pip him in the shorter form of the game most times and give fed a tough time even in the longer form."
From coolpixel on 606

1055: Murray has a 4-2 lead over Federer in career meetings, which is a pretty impressive stat in itself, and the Scot won three of their four matches in 2008. Unfortunately for Murray, the one he lost was the US Open final.

1050: Morning all, and welcome to a New Year treat as British number one Andy Murray gets set to take on world number two Roger Federer in Abu Dhabi at the World Tennis Championship.

To be honest, that title is a little misleading as it's only an exhibition event, with the ATP season proper kicking off next Monday. However, the fine weather, shiny new Zayed Sports City and winner-takes-all prize of US$250,000 has attracted a top-class field. Federer and Rafael Nadal had byes into the last four, while Murray thrashed James Blake on Thursday and Nikolay Davydenko saw off Andy Roddick.

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see also
Tennis stars head for the sun
01 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Murray signs with Beckham agent
30 Dec 08 |  Tennis
Murray's magical year
16 Nov 08 |  Tennis


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