Andy Murray beats Roger Federer to win Toronto title
Murray has now won seven of his 12 matches against Federer
By Piers Newbery
Andy Murray got the perfect vindication of his more attacking style as he beat Roger Federer to retain the Rogers Cup title in a rainy Toronto.
The Briton followed up Saturday's semi-final win over world number one Rafael Nadal with a 7-5 7-5 defeat of 16-time Grand Slam champion Federer.
Murray, 23, held his nerve as Federer fought back from deficits in both sets and rain held up play five times.
The Scot sealed victory in just over two hours for his first title of 2010.
"It's so tough closing out a match againt Roger," Murray said afterwards. "It was incredibly difficult conditions for both of us."
The more aggressive hitting that characterised wins over Nadal and David Nalbandian earlier in the week again played a crucial part as he kept Federer on the move and off balance for much of the final.
I felt free on the court - Murray
And Murray also dealt well with a succession of rain interruptions that meant the match started 15 minutes late and was played out over three and a half hours.
The absence of a coach in his corner does not appear to have had a negative effect since Murray parted company with Miles Maclagan last month, and indeed he has spoken of enjoying the greater independence.
That has manifested itself in a noticeably more aggressive intent on court, with the Briton hitting through his forehand and stepping in to attack returns on a more regular basis.
It worked wonders in the early stages of the final as Murray raced into a 3-0 lead with two breaks of serve as Federer was initially unable to cope with the barrage.
The former world number one, who turned 29 last week, could only respond in kind and he reduced the arrears by breaking to love in game four, before Murray faltered when serving for the set at 5-4 and double-faulted on break point.
Federer has been struggling for consistency though, and the expected tie-break did not materialise as Murray broke straight back thanks in part to a brilliant bit of scrambling at deuce and confidently served out the set.
The first break in play came with heavy rain as Murray served at 2-1 down in the second set but he returned a little under an hour later to see out the game, sit through another brief delay, and break for 3-2 after again dictating matters on the return.
There was little sign that Murray would be derailed but when the weather intervened again at 30-30 it brought another lengthy delay, and this time it was the Briton that suffered on the resumption.
An edgy volley into the tramlines saw him pegged back to 3-3 and Federer hit a purple patch during which Murray did well to stay in touch.
As in the first set, it was 5-5 that proved to be the decisive moment.
Two Murray passing shots helped him to 0-40 and, after two break points went begging, he attacked a second serve on the third and followed it in to put away the volley.
Federer was not yet done and a great return brought him break point as Murray served for the match, but the world number four fired down two aces in a row and converted his second match point to win his first title since Valencia last November.
The victory also ended a three-match losing streak against Federer, taking Murray into a 7-5 lead in meetings between the pair.
"The rain did not help but going into the dressing room gave me time to think," Murray added. "It was really tough but I came through in the end."
Federer said: "I've had an amazing run this week, which could have ended a lot earlier. I'm happy with how I've been playing. I'm excited about it."
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.