Murray dispatches Federer in thriller
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:09
Needing a win to join Murray in the semi-finals, Federer edged a tight first set, but despite letting slip a two-break advantage in the second, Murray deservedly claimed the tie-break.
And in the decider, with Federer struggling with the back injury which forced him to withdraw from the Paris Masters, Murray maintained a 100% start to his maiden Masters Cup appearance by claiming a tense third set and the win in just over three scintillating hours.
Murray had let slip seven match points at 5-4 on the Federer serve but needed just one more, two games later, to set up a semi-final with Russian world number five Nikolay Davydenko after topping the red group.
Earlier, Frenchman Gilles Simon beat Radek Stepanek 6-1 6-4 but needed Murray’s win to advance to a last-four showdown with gold group winner Novak Djokovic.
After recording wins over Andy Roddick and Simon in the round-robin stage, the in-form British number one was already assured of a place in the semi-finals, but an ailing Federer knew he had to win following his opening-day defeat by the Frenchman.
US Open champion Federer was restricted by his back injury in the defeat by Simon, while he was suffering from a stomach upset as he kept his tournament alive by beating Stepanek.
Since his defeat by Federer in the US Open final, 21-year-old Murray had only lost once in his last 17 matches including a win over the former world number one on his way to a second Masters Series shield in Madrid in October.