Masters Cup RR: Federer Reminds Murray 6-4, 6-2

Epic win for the GOAT. But let’s face it, that was a pretty poor performance from Murray. Nothing like we saw from him in their last two meetings anyway. Murray just didn’t impress at all. He kept missing first serves while his return game wasn’t the strength that it usually is. He also made a lot of unforced errors. Roger, on the other hand, played a very clean match. His serve was working well as usual and the return game wasn’t bad either. I thought it was important that he came over the return to show Murray his attacking intentions. He did chip quite a few returns, but at least he came over them as well. Roger was mixing it up nicely out there. He used the slice a lot and with different speeds and spins. There is no doubt Roger has the best slice in the game, and maybe the best slice of all time. He can do anything with it.

I thought Murray was going to run down many more balls and really try to frustrate Roger, especially on these courts. But Murray was too inconsistent while Roger was too clinical. Roger even had a chance to bagel Murray in the second set when he was leading 4-0. I think he had some break points in that game, but Murray ended up holding. Even though Murray avoided the bakery, it was still a very convincing win. It just goes to show why Roger is number two in the world while Murray is struggling to stay at number four. Even though Roger is over his prime, he is still more consistent than Murray who is now in his prime. Murray has won only two titles this year, in Toronto and Shanghai. Roger has won a slam, a Masters Series, a 500, and a 250. With this win Roger has once again reminded Murray who is the better player.

Roger+Federer+ATP+World+Tour+Finals+Day+Eight+qiLmI0lcoC5l

Murray is just too inconsistent. The head-to-head in now 8-6 in Murray’s favor, with Roger having won all their slam meetings and two of their three meetings in the Masters Cup. Roger should really have won that match at the Masters Cup in 2008, but his back was badly injured that day. I thought this was in important win for Roger. He is now all but assured of going through to the semi’s. It is nice to have that pressure off going into the third RR match. I think he only has to win something like five games against Soderling to qualify. But anyway he will probably win that match. This match was also a nice confidence booster. Still I am not convinced yet. Roger has still shown of late that he can have days where he loses all his confidence against people like Murray, Djokovic and Monfils. Back in his prime this did not happen.

This event is a good test because he has five tough matches. If he wins all of them then I will be satisfied. If he is going to have an off match, then I suppose it has to be against Soderling. But after that he will be facing guys like Nadal and Djokovic. If he can beat Murray, Djokovic, and Nadal in the same event it will be a very good sign. Murray can still make the final though. It doesn’t really matter if he plays Murray in the final, as long as he can beat any of the top four three times in the same event I will be happy. If he ends up playing Roddick in the semi’s, that will be probably too easy. I’d prefer he plays Djokovic or Nadal. Speaking of Nadal, he was let off the hook by Rodddick two day ago. Roddick had him down a set and a break, but could not consolidate by holding serve. That was at 2-1 in the second set, and when Nadal broke right back to level at 2-2, I knew Roddick had let him off the hook.

GOAT meets miniGOAT 

Nadal doesn’t need second invites to get back in a match, being one of the most clutch players in the history of the sport. If Roddick had consolidated the break at 2-1, the match would have been all but over. Nadal was really looking rusty out there and he may just have lost hope had that happened, and Roddick would have seen the finish line. But now that Roddick let Nadal off the hook, he will gain a lot of confidence from coming back like that. Actually I don’t even care because I want to see Nadal make the semi’s. I hope him and Roger can meet either in the semi’s or final. Today’s match between Nadal and Djokovic could decide that. The winner of that match could decide who ends on top of group A. Roger will probably end on top of group B, which means he will probably meet the player who finishes second in group A.

This is all still hypothetical, of course since there is still some tennis to be played. It’s just nice to see Roger at the top of his group and looking good so far. He has after all been the form player of late, and he will be hard to stop from winning a fifth Masters Cup, which would incidentally tie Lendl and Sampras. I think Roger is looking good, but like I said the semi’s and finals will be the real test. Best case scenario is that he meets Nadal in the final and beat him. He has already beaten Nadal twice at the Masters Cup, although the courts were faster on those occasions. At least here Roger has the low bounce in his favor.

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=federer+vs+murray+london+2010&aq=f

Interview: There is no interview on the official website. All I could find was this – http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/more-sport/2010/11/24/roger-federer-shocked-and-surprised-by-how-easily-he-beat-andy-murray-115875-22735986/

Ps. I really like this video that I found. Enjoy.

Roger Federer – Beauty Personified from rogiland on Vimeo.

Roger Federer


Posted in Uncategorized and tagged , .

38 Comments

  1. Roger’s defense held up well against Murray but not doing well in long rallies. Murray keep outplaying from behind. Hopes he won’t repeat same mistake when he plays nadal or djoker.

    [Reply]

  2. Murray indeed played awful most of the match but seeing Federer so solid was really encouraging. Two moments in the game tell the whole story:
    1. The last game of the 1st set, Federer came back from 0-30 in the most convincing way. Murray (and the crowd) had a little hope for a few moments and Federer came back majestically to take the set.
    2. The 3rd game of the 2nd set, Murray tried to find his rhythm so Federer made 2 quick approaches to the net to find a surprised (and frustrated) Murray hitting the ball straight to the net. Murray really didn’t know what to do at these moments. Federer continued to a break in this game and went up to 3-0.

    I hope that unlike in the recent tournaments, Federer keeps his superb form in the early rounds also into the semis and final. I agree that if he must have an off-day it should be against Soderling. I am really looking forward for a confident Federer playing Nadal.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Good comment TD. I remember that game at 5-4. It was impressive how he came out of that one with 4 straight points. Also loved the oldschool chip-and-charges.

    [Reply]

  3. I agree with your points made in this article but I disagree about Murray having a terrible day. Even Roger said Murraybplayed bad but I’m not so sure Murray was that poor- i just think Roger’s tactics threw him so badly that he didn’t know what to do! He looked confused out there. It reminded me of how Roger looked after the Shanghai final- like he didn’t understand why he’d lost so convincingly.

    Murray’s serve was pathetic but then it usually is these days. It was especially bad though because Roger put alot of pressure on him by making lots of returns and he mixed up the chip return with a powerful one.

    I’m actually glad that Roger didn’t bagel Murray in the second set because Murray in the final would be better than anyone else. Lots of hype would surround Murray if he makes it to the final in London and he seems to struggle mentally when the pressure is on. I also want Murray to knock out Rafa.

    I think it’d be bad if Rafa made it to the final because that would give him a ton of ranking points- if Fed has any chance of getting back number 1 spot next summer he must stop Rafa winning this tournament. Hopefully at the semi finals stage.

    I also loved the video- thanks! Poetry in motion

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi Andrew, good point about the ranking points. But it will probably be even better if Nadal makes the final and Roger beats him there. The importance of a win for Roger over Nadal right now cant be underestimated. In light of what you are saying, I think the best case scenario would be if Roger meets Nadal in the semis and beats him. So lets hope Djokovic wins today, which he has a good chance of doing.
    About Murray, in the past i would have agreed with you, but im not overestimating Rogers performances these days. I think Roger played well and didnt make it easy for Murray, but Murray was clearly off his game. Just compared this match with how he played vs Soderling.

    [Reply]

  4. Loved the video, Ru-an, beautiful to watch Roger’s artistic performance in tennis. There is NO ONE like him.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi Dolores, glad you liked it! Hope you are well.

    [Reply]

  5. Murray didn´t impress thanks to the superior play of Roger F.(end of story).Journalist and writers don´t offer Fed these types of excuses, so why should his opponents be any different.It seems all Roger does it´s never enough.Roger has prevailed again toying with and mastering Murray.He feels comfortable winning important ones against Murray.Well done Roger!!!
    The latest in summer Roger will be N#1 again, surpass
    Sampras´record and shut every sceptic quiet…
    Just lay back watch him play his beautiful tennis and
    enjoy!
    I have read this”Murray winner of little battles, loser of wars”.
    Loving the video.

    [Reply]

  6. In Shanghai it seemed like Federer was trying to hit with pace too often, which plays right into Murray’s hands.

    This time he mixed it up more and kept Murray from blasting away with his backhand. Plus that clutch game at 0-30, 5-4 up was key. It’s important that he can still bring his best stuff at crucial moments.

    Still I have the feeling that Murray was not really playing his best until he was 4-0 down in the second set. In his postmatch interview Federer said:

    Now I think [Murray]’s at a level where it comes down a lot to day form. Obviously I’m maybe always the one who is a little bit in control where I’m the aggressor, where he’s maybe the counter-puncher still a little bit.

    I have to agree with this assessment. Murray has improved and I think at this point it will be hard for Federer to beat him if he doesn’t get a good start and use the right tactics from the get-go. He can’t really scrap his way past Murray with sheer grit. If it’s a grinding match Murray will win; and he’s gotten so good he doesn’t need to grind as hard as he used to.

    If there’s bagels to be handed out, I want Federer to save them for the final. In 2005 he double- bageled Gaudio in the semis only to lose the final, so it’s best to keep them in reserve till then.

    Group B has been a horrendous disappointment with Roddick losing to Nadal and Berdych, and Djokovic having problems with his contact lenses and then folding completely after that.

    Nadal sure complained a lot about Djokovic’s issues, given how often he has to plead indulgence for his injury problems. I suppose he’s happy to have courtesy given to him, but very reluctant to extend it to others.

    Guess it’s yet another sterling example of the kind of sportsmanship that wins one the Stefan Edberg award.

    [Reply]

    TD Reply:

    Murray have beaten Federer enough times so Federer do respect him.
    You reminded me something that quite amazed me in the match yesterday – in the interview before the match Federer said he has a game plan ready and he knows what he has to do. He also didn’t want to give any details about it. Please correct me if I’m wrong but I have never heard Federer saying to the media the he had worked on a plan before a specific match. He also usually explains how he is going to play (for example, moving Soderling around, or more general tactics) and I have never heard him not wanting to answer this kind of question.
    I like this change and when I saw this interview I felt he is very serious about winning the match and he is going to make it. He did.

    [Reply]

    Olivier Reply:

    Rafa did not complained about Novaks issues!! Get your facts right please!!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I heard he did, but that was just from a tennis forum.

    [Reply]

    Glen Reply:

    Nadal’s delight at the victory was tempered by a disagreement with the umpire over the length of time he was taking between points.

    “The umpire told me I had to go faster between points but I think the medical timeout is three minutes, not seven, like when he (Djokovic)went for treatment, Nadal said.

    “If I wait seven minutes for him, and for me that isn’t a problem, there isn’t going to be a problem if I am five seconds late between points.

    “After I waited a lot, he can’t come in the next game and say, You have to be faster.”

    ….so basically he was saying that if Djokovic’s medical time out lasted too long, he should be at liberty to break the times rules every service point. Classy.

    [Reply]

  7. I did my math and for Roger to qualify for the semis he needs to win just 5 games against Soderling and lost and even if Murray wins 6-0 6-0 against Ferrer. JUST 5 GAMES is my hope for tomorrow’s game!

    [Reply]

  8. Anewor, a player that wins just 5 games against Soderling is unlikely to win the tournament – or his subsequent semi-final. No, Federer should aim for nothing less than to beat Soderling in 2 straight, in order to maintain his confidence and remind his rivals just who he is.

    I see that Djokovic has slipped, again. A win against Nadal at this stage of the tournament would have been crucial for his confidence. I am sure that will tell against him at a key point of the tournament.

    As for Murray, despite what he claims I think he still fears Federer – or the Federer ‘A’ game (which he knows he has no counter to and puts him under huge pressure on the big occasion). However, he also knows that he copes much better with the Nadal game, which allows him to work the points in a way he can’t against Federer. If he meets Nadal perchance later in the tournament I would not be surprised to see Murray redeem himself (partially) with a win over the current No.1.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Agree totally with you on Roger vs Soderling. He should not give Soderling more than 5 games. Also agree about Djokovic. But i would be surprised if Murray was to beat Nadal. I dont think that is happening. Murray is a choker against a confident Nadal just like Djokovic. Nadal in this form wont be beaten by anyone. Roger is the only one with an outside chance, but the court speed doesnt favor him.

    [Reply]

    Glen Reply:

    ‘an oustide chance’….balderdash my man. Fed is the favourite for this title and rightly so. I think he will sweep to victory….or at least has a ‘very strong chance’ of doing so. He is working this surface really well.

    [Reply]

  9. You may be right about Nadal. Ether way, it is unfathomable to me that the player who couldn’t win a SET off any of his opponents in the 2009 year-end championships has become well nigh unbeatable this year. However, I think it suits Murray to be the underdog, which is what he would be against Nadal, and I think he has shown that he has got the game to trouble Nadal the most on hardcourt – unless we see the Nadal of the USO final again, in which case no one stands a chance. Amazing how well the most chronically injured of top players has recovered so well – and so quickly – from yet another potentially serious ailment. But that’s Nadal.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well if you look at his form this year it should be obvious that he can win this. I mean he basically just wins what he wants. Im not gonna say he cant do it because i dont want to be disappointed again like at the US Open. I learned my lesson. Nadal can do whatever he wants pretty much. Maybe he should try to cure cancer and end world hunger. He’ll probably be successful at that too.

    [Reply]

  10. nadals serving percentage was not particularly high so if his serve percentage isnt high, he could lose. Still the rest of his game is clicking.

    [Reply]

  11. and i dont think its fair to say he’s become “unbeatable”. He was a few points away from losing to roddick who isnt playing his best stuff either.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Roddick was in the zone until Nadals aura made him choke. Nadal is the most clutch player in history and it makes everyone choke against him, including Roger.

    [Reply]

  12. Mike, Nadal has had an unbelievable year! How many matches does he have to win (or lose?) to be ‘well-nigh unbeatable’? So he almost lost to Roddick the other night. Well, he still won, while playing relatively poorly (for him). Compare that to the player at last year’s champs – he wouldn’t have won a set and would have looked feeble in the process. And that was pretty much the story of the second half of his year in 2009. If the player that he currently is finds his best form in these champs then I maintain that no-one stands a chance. Like he did in the slams, I pick him to get better every match. This year at least, he is another player in the final. More ‘playstation’ tennis to come.

    [Reply]

  13. I dont agree that “no one” stands a chance. Murray certainly does but then again he is a mental midget. Federer stands a shot but he usually blows away breakpoints vs nadal, like the australian open 2009. So he had an unbelievable year, that simply means he’s better then the rest right now. He’s not the first player to win three majors, others have done it before him

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    If Nadal wants this, which he very much does, he will probably win it. If the courts were fast, Roger or Murray may have stood and outside chance, but the courts are slow so i dont have much hope for them. Of course i hope they can surprise me.

    [Reply]

    Glen Reply:

    Heh heh….this forum is becoming more and more a therapy session for the fearful and the timid.

    Fed is playing great. I really feel he will take this title for the 5th time this week. He has palpably shown that he has played within himself this week, and the gears are there when required.

    Fed ftw!!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    First of all this is not a forum, it is MY BLOG. If you have followed it for any amount of time you would know that i am the least fearful and timid Fedfan in the world. All these comment were before the Soderling match today. Also, Nadal has been extremely dominant this year, winning just about whatever he sets his eyes on. Still, my feeling have changed because of todays match. I think Roger is looking good to win this title now. Still, it wont be easy with Nadal looming in the draw. I suggest you wait for my next post.

    [Reply]

    ines Reply:

    Ru-an Glen is right “The pessimist blog”.
    Please Nadull hasn´t been tested yet, in front of a weak Andy an injured Djoko.
    Why is unbeatable?is from another planet? O You think he´s the only one “different” player…Humm..the only way…

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Like i said to the two of you, read my latest post. Ok?

    [Reply]

    Glen Reply:

    Sorry…a ‘blog’ for the timid and fearful! ;-) Anyhoo, I was of course only joshing with you Ruan.

    Sometimes I just think you are a little too fearful of Nadal….like saying that Fed was ‘right’ not to win the semis at the US Open. Like I explained at the time….that flies in the face of how I feel a sportsman at the very top conducts himself. Right now Fed needs to forget the h2h and get in about Nadal…

    With regards to Nadal…he is playing ok, sure. His pap about hating this surface is usual Nads bull…lets face it, it couldn’t be more slow, and it is letting him run everything down. And, sure he has had a dominant year…never easy to beat etc.

    However, I believe that Fed, when playing well, is a better player than Nadal off clay. We won’t know for sure how tenacious his game has redeveloped until we see them face off. It would be tight for sure…but I pick the great man. This is the best I have seen him since AO and possibly even better than that. The biggest thing for me is that the gears are back. He can step it up when needed.

    Anyway….I guess we should wait and see if Nads qualifys! ;-) Really looking forward to the potential head off between Muzz and Nads. I see Muzz nabbing that one, unfortuntately! I wanna see Fed/Nads!

    [Reply]

  14. Mike, you are cracking me up. You make Nadal sound like another averagely good player who wins because others have an off-day.

    The guy has been a steam-roller since he came on the tour, who has expanded his territory from his native clay to include every surface against every opponent. This year has completed that evolution. For a player of his style – which is clay-court writ large – that is virtually unprecedented.

    For much of last year, and at these champs in particular, he looked as though he was on the way out. That was the consensus. Now, even when his form dips, he is a force on every surface – unbeatable in slams – and well capable of winning these champs – something he has previously come nowhere near doing before. Ruan is right – he should be in the business of achieving miracles, like ending world poverty or finding a cure for cancer – because he sure knows how to come back from the dead.

    [Reply]

    steve Reply:

    he should be in the business of achieving miracles, like ending world poverty or finding a cure for cancer – because he sure knows how to come back from the dead.

    LOLs! Yes, and he does all that while being a humble, politely-spoken small-town boy with a million-watt smile.

    His knee tendinitis–a chronic degenerative condition that can only get worse with time and continued play–vanished as if it had never been after a few injections. He starts moving better than ever and wins three straight majors without the slightest indication of knee trouble. Where are all the medical journals investigating this? Surely this is an incredible breakthrough.

    In one week he can make a grip change and start serving five to ten mph faster than before. Even players with enormous natural talent cannot make changes to their serve easily; it takes a long time to alter one’s serve and usually, in the short term, it hurts your serving ability rather than improve it.

    How can this player, who is trumpeted as being lacking in natural talent, able to do something that more talented players cannot?

    “Hard work,” we’re told, with a patronizing smile. Because all the other players are lazy slobs, and if they just put as much effort into it as Nadal, obviously they too would be able to make a “grip change” and start serving bombs within a week.

    Before this tournament we were told he had shoulder tendinitis. Whatever happened to that? The guy’s been serving better as the tournament has gone on.

    We are really being sold a bill of goods here, and it’s clear that plenty of people are more than happy to be snowed by the PR machine.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    he should be in the business of achieving miracles, like ending world poverty or finding a cure for cancer – because he sure knows how to come back from the dead.

    Lol, i just find this statement funny. I cant help laughing at it.

    [Reply]

    ines Reply:

    I haven´t read your comment about cancer, very disappointed, you have readers and you don´t know if you´re hurting feelings.Not nice really.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Sometimes you must have a sense of humor in life Ines. If you are going to be this serious about everything life will be hard for you.

    [Reply]

    ines Reply:

    You don´t know about my peronal life, yes a hard life,I can´t have sense of humour about cancer nobody should,don´t mess with such a serious illness, be serious.

    [Reply]

  15. ines, you left out the the world’s poor. If you don’t mind my saying, that was a bit insensitive of you.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I agree Neil, it was all in good humor. You cant be that serious in life.

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *