Federer, Murray earn spots in semis at ATP finals

Federer, Murray earn spots in semis at ATP finals

Published Nov. 25, 2010 12:00 a.m. ET

Andy Murray joined Roger Federer in the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals on Thursday, recovering from a shaky start to beat David Ferrer 6-2, 6-2 in their last round-robin match.

Murray lost his first service game to go down 2-0, but played nearly perfect tennis in winning the next seven games to take control of the match.

Murray only needed to win a set to secure a spot in the semifinals and Ferrer seemed unable to muster much energy in the second, knowing he had been eliminated. Murray broke twice more for a 5-2 lead and sealed the win with an easy forehand winner at the net on his first match point.

Federer continued his dominance over Robin Soderling with a 7-6 (5) 6-3 win Thursday to earn a spot in the semifinals at the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals.


Federer improved to 3-0 in the round-robin phase of the tournament to secure first place in Group B, while Soderling fell to 1-2 and didn't win enough games to stay in contention for a semifinal spot.

Federer improved his career record against Soderling to 15-1, with his only loss to the Swede coming in this year's French Open quarterfinals.

''(Soderling) always brings out something different every time he plays me, because he has to try different things,'' Federer said. ''I was able to handle it well, which was a very happy feeling for me to have.''

Federer broke for a 5-3 lead in the second set, hitting a backhand passing shot that Soderling could only return into the net. The second-ranked Swiss then set up match point with a drop shot and converted it when Soderling hit his return into the net.

Federer has yet to lose a set in the tournament and took advantage of Soderling's 25 unforced errors on the indoor hard court at the O2 Arena.

The two traded breaks once in the first set before Federer took control of the tiebreaker by earning a mini-break with a forehand winner after a long rally, and followed it up with two straight aces for a 5-2 lead. He converted his second set point with a lunging one-handed backhand that Soderling let sail past him thinking it would be long, only to see it land in the far corner of the court.

''At first I was pretty sure it was going out,'' Soderling said. ''As soon as I let it go, I felt like this one is going much closer to the line than I expected. Of course, it went in. So, yeah, it was a little bit unlucky. But it's my fault.''

Federer said he hit the shot under pressure but called it a ''decent backhand.''

''Unfortunate for him,'' Federer said. ''But I should have maybe closed the set out earlier myself, too. But it would have been interesting to see what would have happened at 6-all, obviously.''

Soderling had two break points in the first game of the second set, but wasted the first when he shanked a forehand. He thought he had converted the second with a forehand pass down the line, but Federer challenged the line judge's call that the ball was in, and the video replay showed that it landed just wide. He went on to hold with an ace on his first game point.

''Against a player like Roger, you need to have a little bit of luck to win,'' Soderling said. ''And I definitely didn't have the luck on my side today.''

Soderling then saved two break points to hold for 2-2 after the longest game of the match, which featured five deuces.

The other group features Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Tomas Berdych and Andy Roddick, with all four still in contention for the semifinals ahead of the last round of matches on Friday.

Earlier, top-ranked Bob and Mike Bryan of the United States reached the semifinals of the doubles competition by beating Lukas Dlouhy of the Czech Republic and Leander Paes of India 6-3, 6-4.


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