Roger Federer storms to victory as Andy Murray falls flat

Last Updated: Nov 23, 2010, 23:58 PM IST

London: Roger Federer easily defeated Andy Murray at the ATP World Tour Finals on Tuesday, winning 6-4, 6-2 to stretch his record to 2-0 at the season-ending event.

Federer looked unstoppable on the court at the O2 Arena, losing only eight points on his serve in the match — three in the first set and five in the second.

“I’m surprised, I really am, that I was able to win my service games that comfortably,” Federer said. “That’s not to the norm against Andy, who is one of the best return players, if not the best, in the game right now.”

Besides controlling play with his serve, winning 88 percent of the points when he landed his first serve, Federer also forced Murray into long rallies when he was receiving. Pulling forehands to his left and hitting them to his right with ease, the 16-time Grand Slam champion waited for his British opponent to make the errors or set up his winners.

“He came out and made some mistakes. Maybe it was due to my good play,” Federer said of Murray’s 26 unforced errors. “I played tough and solid from start to finish.”

Later Tuesday, Robin Soderling was to face David Ferrer in the other Group B match. Federer can advance to the semifinals depending on the late result.

Federer has won the season-ending event for the world’s top eight players four times.

Murray dropped to 1-1 and will have to improve if he is to reach the semifinals. He will face Ferrer in his final match Thursday while Soderling takes on Federer.

Murray struggled from the start Tuesday, when he had to save a break point in the opening game. And it was his serve that was letting him down most of the way, landing only 44 percent of the first serves. That allowed Federer to take advantage of the much slower second serve.

“I returned poorly, served poorly,” Murray said. “Against him, that’s not going to win you the match.”

Federer earned his first break in the third game of the first set, winning all four points played. He then won his next three service games at love.

In the second set, Murray saved two break points in the opening game, but Federer stayed alive through four deuces to earn a third break point. He converted with a forehand that hit the top of the tape and zipped past Murray.

After holding at love yet again, Federer broke again to make it 3-0 and soon led 4-0.

“I tried to play quite aggressive. You’re not going to hit winners every single time you go on the court,” said Murray, who is 8-6 overall against Federer. “Today, I made more mistakes than normal.”

On Monday, top-ranked Rafael Nadal rallied to beat Andy Roddick 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 and third-ranked Novak Djokovic defeated Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-3.

Nadal will take on Djokovic on Wednesday, while Roddick and Berdych play in the early Group A match.

In doubles, Jurgen Melzer of Austria and Philipp Petzschner of Germany beat Lukas Dlouhy of the Czech Republic and Leander Paes of India 7-6 (9), 4-6, 10-8. Later, top-ranked Bob and Mike Bryan of the United States were to play Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski of Poland.

Bureau Report