MURRAY: FED’S NO PUSHOVER

Andy Murray may have registered his eighth win in 13 meetings
with Roger Federer yesterday but the Scot is adamant he does not
find it easy against the Swiss master.

Murray claimed the Shanghai Masters crown with a
hugely-impressive 6-3 6-2 win in one hour and 25 minutes as Federer
was frustrated in his bid to equal Rafael Nadal’s record of 18
ATP Masters titles and move joint
fourth with Pete Sampras on the open-era titles list with his 64th
career trophy.

World number four Murray is one of the few players to have a
winning record against Federer but insisted he had to fight for
each of the eight wins.

He said: ”I enjoy playing him. I don’t find it easy at all.
It’s incredibly difficult every time.

”But I love the challenge of playing against him. I don’t fear
playing him. Every time I go on, I know I need to play great tennis
to win against him.

”I don’t know if my game matches up well against his or not.
But I’ve played some of my best tennis against Roger.”

Murray felt his improved second serve was key to his emphatic
victory.

”Against Roger you can’t let him get out in front,” said
Murray.

”You have to go after it early.

”I returned his serve well and got a lot of free points on my
first serve and my second serve has improved so much since the
start of the year that he wasn’t really able to take many chances
on it.”

Murray got off to the perfect start by breaking Federer in the
first game. The Swiss, who double-faulted on his second point, had
looked on course to hold at 40-15 but lost the next three points
and then produced a poor forehand to hand his opponent a 1-0
lead.

The Scot looked assured in holding serve in the following game
and had a break-point opportunity in game three, but Federer
responded with a brilliant forehand down the line to rescue the
situation and get himself on the scoreboard.

The six-time Wimbledon champion mustered a break point of his
own in the following game but Murray came up with a couple of fine
serves to see off the danger.

Federer restored some confidence by taking his next service game
to love but he could make no inroads on Murray’s serve as the
British number one moved 4-2 ahead.

That became 5-3 when both men held again before Federer, serving
to stay in the set, fell victim to some sublime tennis as Murray
produced a couple of find passing shots to get his second break and
clinch the set 6-3.

Murray handed Federer chances to get back into the match by
offering break points in each of his first two service games of set
two, but the Scot held his nerve and saved both.

The Swiss kept Murray at bay in his first service game but hit
two wayward forehands in game four as the world number four secured
another vital break.

Federer was becoming frustrated and had words with the umpire
after going 3-1 down.

His mood no doubt took a turn for the worse when Murray won the
next game to love and, although the 16-time grand slam champion
recovered to reduce the arrears to 4-2, Murray was sensing the
victory and stormed the next two games to close out the match.

The 29-year-old from Basle saved one championship point with a
neat forehand but then netted another forehand to hand Murray the
title.

Federer, who will return to world number two today courtesy of
reaching the final, paid tribute to his opponent.

”I thought he played well overall,” said Federer.

”He didn’t give me much. I was missing a few too many shots,
which I wish I hadn’t because that could have definitely maybe
swung the momentum around, given me more confidence to play more
forward, more attacking. But missing so many important shots really
over and over again obviously took a lot of my confidence away.

”Then the targets seemed to get smaller and smaller. That’s
definitely his credit, a pity for me.”