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Murray v Federer as it happened

Indian Wells Masters 1000

Semi-final result:


6-3 4-6 6-1

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By Pranav Soneji

2204: Another impressive game from Murray, whose defensive game was immense. The 22-year-old admits he targeted Federer's backhand specifically, forcing him to rely more on his forehand. The lad has tactical nous coming out of his nostrils. Murray says he feels OK after his fall, so hopefully we won't hear too much about it in the next 24 hours. Thanks for your company and see you tomorrow for the final. Rafa or A-Rod? I'm going Rafa.

"Great win for Andy Murray. Take a bow son for beating Roger Federer for the sixth time. Now he needs to take these sorts of wins against Federer etc into the Major tournaments and that is the key to whether he will win one of the Majors.".
CaledonianCraig on 606Your thoughts on the action


Federer 3-6 6-4 1-6 Murray
A Murray serve is called out by the umpire, a decision which Murray challenges, although he probably wishes he hadn't as the ball lands a good two inches outside. The Fed sees the window of opportunity at 15-30 and he has two break points when Murray misdirects at the net. The Scot hauls back both points, again from unforced Fed errors to move to deuce. Fed slices a backhand return into the net, giving Murray match point, but he spurns the chance with a horribly over-hit forehand. Another Fed error - this time on the forehand - gives Murray his second match point, but yet again he overcooks a return, this time with a double-handed forehand. Fed latches on to a short second serve and dances to the net, only for Murray to unleash a wonderful passing shot to his third match point. Lordy, he's only gone and over-hit another return. A Fed backhand hits more frame than string, handing Murray his fourth match point - and he duly converts with a serve to Federer's body which he cannot direct in court. So that's Murray's sixth career win over Federer in eight meetings and more importantly, a place in Sunday's final against either Andy Roddick or Rafa Nadal.

Federer 3-6 6-4 1-5 Murray
Poor mistake from Fed, who lazily prods at a forehand volley into the net, but a fantastic recovery shot from Murray, whose defensive game is almost flawless. Fed os all over the place, he has lost his discipline as Murray eases to three break points, converting at the second attempt when Federer thumps a forehand into the net. The volume inside the stadium has noticably dropped. Murray to serve for the match.

Federer 3-6 6-4 1-4 Murray
Federer advances to the net, but his approach shot is too short and Murray fizzes a forehand winner down the line. A perfectly weighted drop shot and an over-hit backhand sees Murray open up a three-game lead. Is this curtains for Fed?

Federer 3-6 6-4 1-3 Murray
Extraordinary. Murray plays what I can only describe as a forward defence following an overhead smash from Federer and manages to beat his opponent. Improvisation of the highest order. The next point sees Murray slip as he turns sharply to his left, exclaiming as he collapses. But he's back on his feet and at break point and has the game when Federer tamely sends a backhand slice into the net. Murray didn't really do much to that win that game, I wonder if the thought of impending fatherhood is going through Roger's head at the wrong time?

"Monumental hold, of Samson-esque proportions."
chumbawumba2 on 606Your thoughts on the action

Federer 3-6 6-4 1-2 Murray
Federer launches into a short second Murray serve, fizzing a forehand past the static Scot. More brilliance from Federer, wrong-footing Murray with a forehand down the line to move to 30-30. Murray's serving skills go awry when he double faults at 40-30. But he claims the third game with an ace after a sensational backhand return on the run.

Federer 3-6 6-4 1-1 Murray
Murray challenges a fantastic whipped forehand return - and Hawk-eye shows the ball just - and I really do mean just - clipping the line. Murray launches another defensive lob, clinically smashed by Fed. And the man in black takes the game with the rally of the match, punching a backhand volley after some superb court work from Murray.

Federer 3-6 6-4 0-1 Murray
Wonderful cross-court return from Federer and he's 15-30 up, but a sizzling ace from Murray and we're back to evens. Federer overcooks a backhand and forehand return as Murray takes the first game of the third set.

"Loving your text commentary Pranav. You should have a twitter feed for it though!"
Anna in Wakefield via TEXT 81111

You're too kind Anna, although you probably won't be saying that after my scoring errors at the end of the second set. Apologies all.

Federer 3-6 6-4 Murray
Federer has Murray running about all over the Indian Wells court and although the Scot is doing a thoroughly admirable defensive job, he cannot prevent the Swiss star from levelling the match with a thudding backhand. Game very much on.

Federer 3-6 5-4 Murray
Much better service game from the man from Dunblane as Federer frames a horrible backhand return as Murray eases to 40-15, clinching the game with a wide serve to Fed's forehand. Apologies for the wrong scores, all has been sorted.

Federer 3-6 5-3 Murray
Top defence from Murray, whose trainers squeak and squeal as he zips across court, but cannot chase down an exquisite backhand. Brilliant defence from Murray, who would chase down a Formula One car if there was a tennis ball on the back of it, but his defensive lob allows Fed to wallop an unstoppable overhead smash to take the game.

Federer 3-6 4-3 Murray
Fed pounces on a short serve Murray serve, once again opening his body and nailing a forehand down the line. He has three game points. Federer challenges a Murray ace down the middle, only to see the ball just kiss the line. But Federer takes the lead yet again in the second set with yet another booming forehand - this time cross court, much to the jubilation of the crowd, who are very much behind the Swiss maestro.

I've mentioned it before, but does anyone else think the real strength of Murray's play is the INTELLIGENCE of it? The fact that he identifies weaknesses in even the strongest players, and then is able to act on the knowledge? I think that is where his real strength lies. His play is so...chameleonic. His nickname should be the Chameleon."
The Man From Viltheed on 606Your thoughts on the action

Federer 3-6 3-3 Murray
Wallop - vintage Fed. He opens his body up and marmalises a forehand down the line, smoother than cricket commentator Mark Nicholas wrapped in silk. But wow - Murray launches an incredible double-handed lob on the run, looping over Federer's head and landing six inches inside the service line. Federer, whose overhead smash has been inconsistent this afternoon, hits a superb winner from a lob to take advantage, only to undo his excellent work with a misdirected forehand cross court. He takes a hard-fought game when a weak Murray forehand lands into the net, snapping his opponent's run of three successive game wins.

Federer 3-6 2-3 Murray
A lovely, whippy forehand, not too dissimilar to Rafa Nadal - but right-handed - down the line lands AM two game points, which he duly converts with little trouble.

Federer 3-6 2-2 Murray
Gavin Rossdale is in the crowd - I actually remember him for his music, rather than his famous other half. Glycerine was the one Bush song I rather liked. Mr Gwen Stefani is big mates with R-Fed. Excellent serve right down the middle sees Fed take a 30-15 lead, which he extends when a double-handed backhand Murray return hits the net. But a brilliant return right at the toes of Federer sees Murray level at deuce before taking advantage with a Fed mistake. The sense of anticipation among the 15,000 rises and Murray hits back with the service break courtesy of a fluent double-handed backhand. Murray pumps a fist with a yelp of "yessssss".

Federer 3-6 2-1 Murray
Murray regains his composure in his second service game, sending down two excellent first serves before dropping short with a second, which Federer pounces on at 40-15. A small plane - possibly a Cessna - skims over the stadium, making that wonderful noise six-year-olds make whenever they extend their arms horizontally in the playground. Murray seals the game when Federer's forehand on the run just lands on the wrong side of the line, a call which he contests, but once again is proven wrong.

"Cobalt blue re Murdsy's chemise. Magenta? Are you mad?!"
Marc, Liverpool via TEXT 81111

Federer 3-6 2-0 Murray
With the bit between his teeth, Federer thunders down a two excellent serves before volleying a backhand volley at the net seals the game for a 2-0 led.

Federer 3-6 1-0 Murray
Murray produces his first double fault of the match to give Federer a window of opportunity at 15-30. And the man dressed in black has two break points when he thunders a thumping forehand across court, which Murray cannot coax over the net. But a superb cross-court forehand on the run bounces off the net into empty court to haul back a break point. But a loose forehand goes beyond the service line and Federer is back in this match.

"Disgusting play from Federer, he should just have a break from the game, there's no confidence in himself to open up and hit continuous flat backhands, it's a loss to the game. Murray v Nadal tomorrow it is."
singhsta2006 on 606Your thoughts on the action

"Been following the match with you but only just found by accident that 5live Sports Extra website has commentary. Why don't you tell people!"
Sam via TEXT 81111

Apologies Sam and all, you know where to go if you want to listen to this match online.

Federer 3-6 Murray
A fine, deep return from Murray sees Federer misdirect a forehand wide of the court as Murray takes a 15-30 advantage. Federer overcooks a forehand to give the Scot set point - which is duly converted when the world number two overslices a drop shot at the net. First blood to Murray.

Federer 3-5 Murray
Federer makes his 14th unforced error when he sends yet another backhand into the net as Andy Murray sends a serve wide to the forehand to move 40-0. And he clinches the set with yet another rasping ace, his second of the match.

"Did you see the way Fed was looking at Murray? Like he wished his racquet was a fly swatter and Murray was a fly.
FlirtingWith Danger on 606Your thoughts on the action

Federer 3-4 Murray
Federer regains his composure and does exactly what Murray did to him in the previous game, holding his serve to love, albeit it with a close line call on the last point.

Federer 2-4 Murray
Murray sends down a missile of a first serve to hold his serve to love. It's all one-way traffic to the man in...magenta? Sapphire Blue? Any suggestions for the colour of Andy M's shirt? And before you start, I've changed the score at the top of the page - I had it the wrong way round.

"I was one of those crazy people making noise at the Davis Cup in Glasgow when Murray was in bed with his temperature. Glad to see Muzza back."
Richard, Stirling via TEXT 81111

Federer 2-3 Murray
Murray wastes a golden opportunity to go to 0-40 when he mis-hits a backhand into the net. Federer smashes a defensive lob into the tramlines, giving Murray two break points, which he converts at the first attempt when Federer's backhand hits the net and flies harmlessly out.

Federer 2-2 Murray
The Fed takes advantage of a short serve for a 0-15 lead, before Murray sends a return into the net. The world number two has three break points with a fiery cross-court forehand, which Murray whittles down to two when a wayward backhand flies off target. The deficit is then reduced to one point when Federer overhits a backhand. And a fantastic rally of over 20 strokes sees Murray haul the score back to deuce when Federer sends a backhand into the net. And two more errors on the backhand from the Swiss gives Murray the game.

"Andy has a 5-2 record against Roger. Come on Murray, do your stuff."
Kenny Bonhill on TEXT 81111

Federer 2-1 Murray
Federer fizzes a sensational backhand down the line to move to 40-15, much to the approval of the Indian Wells crowd. Sounds like a mystical place, where dreams come true, or where the elixir of eternal youth resides. Anyone ever been? Federer seals the next point for an easy hold.

"And I was just about to write a little article about the BBC not covering the silly of me."
Pottiella on 606Your thoughts on the action

Federer 1-1 Murray
Murray moves to 30-0 when Federer's backhand down the line ping into the net, while a forehand in the following point goes the same way. And like his opponent in the previous game, Murray seals the game with an ace.

Federer 1-0 Murray
The Fed forehand is in fine nick as he fires a rocket down the line for a 30-0 lead and moves to 40-15 with the subtlest of drop shots at the net, even the pace of Andy Murray cannot get to the ball before the second bounce before an ace seals the first game. Good start.

2008: Evening gang, while balmy Californian sunshine beams down on glistening, bronzed bodies, I'm getting severely cold sitting next to the window in a dim-lit office in west London. But I'm not complaining.

The players are out and Andy Murray has won the toss and elected to receive. Get in touch via the 606 thread above or Text 81111 with the word TENNIS before your message.

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see also
Indian Wells photos
18 Mar 09 |  Tennis
Nadal & Djokovic stay on course
18 Mar 09 |  Tennis
Nadal hits form in Indian Wells
16 Mar 09 |  Tennis
Murray returns with doubles win
13 Mar 09 |  Tennis

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