Andy Murray has exacted his revenge for his Australian Open final loss by thumping Roger Federer (who did not look happy) in the Shanghai final, therefore denying the former world number 1 the chance to claim an 18th Masters 1000 title. Murray beat Federer 6-3, 6-2 in just one hour and 25 minutes. Murray also beat Federer in the Toronto final earlier this year.
After breaking Roger in the opening game, Murray held strong, surviving Federer’s attempts to break back in the fourth and ninth game while Federer’s forehand continued to give him issues. The second set went more or less the same way, with Murray sealing the title by breaking Federer’s serve again.
For his part, Murray enjoyed the challenge of stopping Federer equaling Rafael Nadal’s Masters record (18 titles). “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.”
Federer, who travelled without his family, was clearly annoyed by the match, taking considerably longer than he normally does to meet the press and then seeming glum when he did – a stark contrast to his jovial mood all well.
The loss does little to silence recent talk that the Swiss maestro, who moved back into the number two position, is now in the decline of his career.
“I thought he played well overall. 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 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.”
The win extends Murray’s lead in his head to head history against Federer to 8-5. While Murray celebrated Federer tried to downplay what was clearly evident (that he was beaten comprehensively and quickly). “For those who saw it, they saw a close match with some chances on my side. Because he’s such a good return player, he’s always going to create even more chances once he has the break. That’s why he’s a guy that can break you a couple times a set. Can’t read too much into the scores.” He also complained about a bad line call, saying it possibly cost him the match. However, he did take the time to complement Andy’s performance in the match which was undeniably superior.
“I need to play like I did this week for a whole tournament in the slams. But it’s pretty simple. I don’t think my game needs to improve so much. I think I have the ability to win them. I’ve been close a few times. You know, I need to win tournaments like this. Beating guys like Roger, beating guys like Rafa, gives you confidence that when you do play them in the big tournaments, that you will beat them. You know, I need to, yeah, just play my best tennis at a Grand Slam. It’s down to me to do that. But it’s a tough thing to do.” – Andy Murray