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Page last updated at 14:03 GMT, Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Andy Murray v Roger Federer as it happened


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By Mark Ashenden

1604: It's all about Nadal as Murray is long gone and showering in the locker room. Probably. See you in less than four hours for more action at around 1955. Thanks for all your top comments. For the record, I'm shocked at the number of people who have admitted to getting their Christmas trees up. Just shocked. Don't worry Murray fans. He's still in this tournament. See you later. Just before I go, for all the latest O2 news in the mean time, check out tweets from our man David Ornstein or the team from BBC Radio 5 live.

1559: The crowd go a little bonkers as Rafa Nadal strolls on to the court in some rather tight jeans, burgundy brogues and a suit jacket. He's collecting some silverware (although I think it may be glass - would that be glassware?) There's something so right and so wrong with that Spanish ensemble. He looks happy though. Nope, it is silver and it looks like the old European Cup and it's all for being the world number one. He's also won the Stefan Edberg sportsmanship award as voted by the players.

1557: A quick word for later. Soderling vs Ferrer up tonight from 2000 GMT. Time for some more Murray analysis and it should be a hot match with both players eyeing their first victory at the O2 this year. I'll be disappointed if you don't join me then. Murray will be playing Ferrer on Thursday by the way. I'll hang around here for a few minutes to wait for some Murray reaction. Keep your thoughts coming in. And I'll be on Twitter for half an hour to exchange some views if you're still around.

1553: So a very very easy day at the office for Mr Federer. At least Murray has another chance at these World Finals. A beaming Federer says: "He's beaten me the last two times so I had my hands full today. I was surprised how clean it was - he didn't have his best match."

Murray 4-6 2-6 Federer "It's been a masterclass by Federer and Murray has not been good enough," Tim Henman says. Murray gazes at the roof and screams "oh no" as he plays another limp one into the net. I'm looking at Federer's face and I can't even see the slightest hint of any sweat. A minor wobble though and it's 30-30. Murray desperately challenges and it's match point. Federer wins in straight sets 6-4 6-2. Easy-peasy. "A bad day at the office for Andy" says Henman.

Murray 4-6 2-5 *Federer Is there a better sight in sport than Federer's back-hand? It's got to be up there. A thing of majestic beauty and he is using it brutally in this game. But don't worry folks. Remember Murray will still have to play Spain's David Ferrer after this and if he wins that he'll probably be in the semis. Lets not let this spoil our day eh? But wait - the comeback is on. Murray wins his service game with a delightful forehand winner that lands just inside the baseline. Top stuff. Feds to be serving for the match.

Murray* 4-6 1-5 Federer Murray is 0-40 in a matter of seconds and he plays a scorcher to get one back. But then a rather limp return hands Feds the game. The end is nigh. Or is it?

Murray 4-6 1-4 *Federer Murray gets it to 15-15 and then makes a desperate attempt at swiping a forehand but it goes badly wide and long. Murray looks like a man wanting the locker room. His serve helps him survive two break points. C'mon Andy. I do NOT want to be applying the bagel graphic in three minutes. And that's an order. Phew. No bagel required. A rather large forehand gets him out of trouble and he edges the game as the clock shows the match has lasted for an hour. "He needs to be aggressive, cut out the errors and hope Federer changes" is Henman's synopsis for how Murray can get back in it. Any other ideas? A naked tennis 'please play better Andy' dance in your garden perhaps? I'm sure the tennis gods would look down kindly on your efforts.

Murray* 4-6 0-4 Federer More chinks of light for Murray. But they really are small holes in a dark room. (Not sure that made sense). Anyway, Murray leads 30-15 after coming through a cracking rally. Murray has raised his work rate but Federer is picking the ball off at ease. He's rarely got out of third gear this afternoon and still looks as graceful as a ballerina. More of a reference to his gliding feet really. The boy Murray needs a miracle.

Murray 4-6 0-3 *Federer Except for a couple of games, Federer has been relentless in chasing down Murray's serve. It's another tough one for the number five. The pair exchange another sweet rally and Murray is really unlucky as he plays a cross-court dropshot which drifts wide. More break points for Federer. And that's game over. Too too good. It's a little flat. Federer is on another planet.

Text in your views on 81111
Charlie in Guildford, via text 81111: "Come on Murray, its time for a comeback. I'm secretly watching this game at work, but it's worth it if i get caught! Its time for a Home win"

Murray* 4-6 0-2 Federer Roger Roger Roger. That last Murray service game was 10 minutes long. Federer's service game was one minute. Is there any way back for Andy?

Murray 4-6 0-1 *Federer Murray showing signs of occasional aggression but Federer is still just different class. If I was a professor in tennis stats I'd say Federer was playing 45% better than his opponent. Two break points for Feds already. Murray saves one with a wide booming serve. The crowd doing their best to encourage Murray but I'm sensing an air of "Oh no we could be doing our Christmas shopping in half an hour." Every time Federer is in trouble he pulls out an amazing winner from the toppest of drawers - the latest a great shot from the back down the right-hand line to take it to deuce. The TV closes in on Judy Murray (Andy's mum) and she does not look overjoyed. Either that, or she's wondering when she's going to start writing her Christmas cards. Anybody got their tree up yet by the way? I saw Xmas lights on a house two weeks ago. A shocker. It's the third deuce as Feds smashes down a winner from the net. A massive massive game. Murray starting to find his range with his forehand and it's time for the Brit to come up to the net and smash one away. Much better. A droopy dropshot takes it back to deuce. A sign of renewed confidence though maybe? It doesn't last long as Federer plays a delightful forehand winner after getting a drizzle of luck with a Murray return kissing the tape. Federer breaks.

Text in your views on 81111
Jen in Brixton, via text 81111: </>"Stuck at work with not much to do besides stuff Christmas cards into envelopes. Relying on you to keep me entertained. Murray to win, but a close 3 sets."
Do I get a card for putting your text up? Good work though.

steveyboy1978 on Twitter: "Murray usually looks so motivated and pumped up on home soil, yet today he just seems to be going through the motions so far"

Murray* 4-6 Federer Ooooh Murray takes the opening point. A chink of light for the Brit. And he grabs the second. Feds moves into the net and Murray's body shudders as his radar picks up the ball and he bashes it past Federer's ear to go 30-0 up. The crowd wake up again. Nice. Time for Federer's radar to move up a gear as he plonks a medium-power forehand right on to the line. Too good and a smash at the net gives him set point. First set to Federer in 36 minutes.

Murray 4-5 *Federer Murray pulls a corker out of the bag to go up 30-0. Feds mis-hits a back-hand which lands inside the baseline and Murray swipes/almost smashes from the back and the ball lands on the line for a remarkable winner. Great stuff. Feds wants his seat and Murray takes it to love. Feds now serving for the set.

Murray* 3-5 Federer I've blinked, I've picked up my tea and before I know it, the game goes to Feds to love.

Murray 3-4 *Federer A couple of loose ones from the world number two and Murray seems to have listened to Henman and read the BBC live text - the serve a definite improvement. Murray cruises through. He needs to raise it in one of these Feds service games though to get back in this battle.

RogerPembery on Twitter: "Murray looks tight. Not getting enough depth during rallies and allowing Fed to put pressure on him"

Murray* 2-4 Federer Not too much bothering Federer's serve right now. "The most accurate in the sport" says Henman. Another easy service win.

Murray 2-3 *Federer
Murray wobbling slightly at 30-15 and he comes through a marathon rally and shock, horror - he's human after all - it's time for Feds to play into the net. And Murray soon finishes the game off with a deft lob that Federer can only tip upwards. "A very impressive start by Federer" says Henman. Henman observes that Federer's unforced errors are only 4 (compared to Murray's 8). Murray's first serve % also pretty poor. Hello hello. Forget Diego Maradona. He's yesterday's news. Kelly Brook is in town - official. She races to the "celebrity at O2" oh my goodness me list. Anybody seen anybody else?

Murray* 1-3 Federer
Murray is definitely struggling. He's even changed is shirt from a white one to a black one. Another comfortable Federer service game. Too many errors right now from the Brit/Scot/tennis player/brunette/right-hander (I'll get grief whatever I call him!). Muzz needs to raise his game. No time for early slip-ups in these three-setters.

Text in your views on 81111
Iain in Edinburgh, via text 81111: "I am sitting in a lecture in Edinburgh with my class mates falling asleep all over the place! No sleep for me! Watching the live updates! Murray to win in 3"

Murray 1-2 *Federer
Murray struggling slightly with Feds looking the more lively of the two. The players exchange dropshots but Feds is dashing all over the place and smashes it back to lead 30-0. Murray's head bowing already. And boom. Three break points and Feds crushes it back right down the middle - the ball almost gave Murray's lengthy barnet (that's hair by the way) a little clip there. Feds is on fire.
* denotes NEXT to serve

Murray* 1-1 Federer
Federer has fewer problems with his serve. And here's a quick competition. Guess which Argentine is back in town, scratching his beard, dreaming of World Cups 24 years ago and enjoying the tennis....need a clue?
* denotes NEXT to serve

Murray 1-0 *Federer
Not sure if it's the TV but looks like Murray has shed a few pounds. I thought the TV put weight on you. Anyway, Muzz goes 30-15 up but Feds hits back with a cracking forehand winner on the rise. These boys are on it already. Murray said he'd get up to the net when he could and he does just that - it puts Feds under pressure and it forces him to play long. Both players mixing their game up with power shots from the back and then Federer plays a rare dink over the net - it works and it's an early break point. Bit scrappy at the end there but Murray holds on. A bit lively for an opening game. Early thoughts?
* denotes NEXT to serve

1433: Murray to serve first. Whoever wins today will be in pole position for a semi-final spot. Here we go.

1432: Tim Henman is asked for his prediction. He sits on the fence, wobbles, says it will be Murray "just" and then wobbles again and says it will be a great match. Who's going to argue with the mighty Henners? Federer sporting tangerine today. Not an actual tangerine, just a very bright shirt. Murray, meanwhile, is wearing a cracking shirt with those golfing type diamonds down the front. Nice outfit. 1-0 to the Brit in the fashion stakes. It's important to look good and make a good good first impression, as my mum always told me. The mighty Nadal was a little scruffy last night I thought. Although his tennis was sweeter than a bag of gobstoppers. In the end anyway. Back to Feds and Muzz.....we're very close......all calm? The ride is upon us....

RabSafcFTM1879 on Twitter: "Hopefully Murray plays his best tennis, and finishes this year on a high, come on Murray do Scotland proud"

Text in your views on 81111
Dot in Kent, via text 81111: "The Fed will struggle to hang on to second next year. The end of an era is sadly near. Murray to win in two"

1425: Murray gets a great reception. If anything, Federer gets a louder reception. Feds says: "I have to play well. Murray is tough to beat and he's on home soil - I'm really looking forward to it." He's looking forward to it? I'm buzzing. I can't even hold my cup of tea. It's the coin toss and Roger wins it (with a heads). Time for some snaps and they'll warm up and it's almost go time.....feeling in a "go" mood?

1422: Andy Murray strolls out in front of a very noisy O2 audience. Before he walks out though he says: "I've got to play the big points well and go for my shots and don't let Roger dictate the points. I need to play aggressively and come forward a little bit."

Text in your views on 81111
Mike in Wandsworth, via text 81111: "What more could I ask for? Murray to win in two please! And a biscuit. Was in the crowd for Monday's Soderling game, hopefully he can find the same form"
Mmmm what did happen to those biscuits? Time to nibble on some tennis. We're close. The players are coming out NOW.

1417: This is not just one-way traffic. You're the important ones here. Chuck us your thoughts and I'll get the top drawer chat on the website in between the action. We've got 10 minutes before the boys stroll out so I want to hear from you right now. Tweet me @bbcsport_mark, text me on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) with TENNIS before your message, or join the banter on 606. OK? Do it.

1415: Murray has said he will be playing aggressively against the 16-time Grand Slam winner this afternoon. "I love to face off against the best" Federer says on BBC Two. He looks bang up for it, in his lowkey kinda way.

1412: The doubles has just finished. The time is approaching. Murray and Federer will be entering the O2 arena like a couple of primed boxers very shortly. I promise you more action this afternoon than that debacle between Audley Harrison and David Haye. So how do you think it will go this afternoon? Murray leads 8-5 in the head-to-heads. All the punters seem split over who will win. Murray can look back happily at his win over Feds in Shanghai. While Federer can boast superiority in the Slams over the Scot.

1408: Just so you know, I'm settled into my throne in London's Shepherds Bush at Television Centre. For all the gossip and latest news from the O2 itself then check out the tweets from our man David Ornstein or the team from BBC Radio 5 live. And there's also live coverage on BBC Two and BBC Radio 5 live sports extra. What more could you possibly ask for?

1403: Afternoon folks. If you were expecting to see or read about Andy Murray and Roger Federer then don't panic. The doubles at the O2 have delayed proceedings slightly. But surely a window for a bit of build-up. So get your thoughts to me on this monumental tennis battle right now. BBC 2 is live and rolling by the way. More details coming up.

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see also
Federer crushes lacklustre Murray
23 Nov 10 |  Tennis
Nadal holds on to defeat Roddick
22 Nov 10 |  Tennis
Superb Djokovic crushes Berdych
22 Nov 10 |  Tennis
Federer opens with Ferrer victory
21 Nov 10 |  Tennis
Murray downs Soderling in opener
21 Nov 10 |  Tennis
The contenders
18 Nov 10 |  Tennis

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