Federer ousts Murray to reach Cincinnati semi-finals

Second seed Roger Federer got out of jail as he rallied from double-break down in the second set to defeat eighth seed Andy Murray 6-3, 7-5 in the Western & Southern Open quarter-finals on Friday.

"In the second set, I lost a little bit of the rhythm," Federer told ESPN after the match. "From the baseline, Murray was hitting the ball well - harder and deeper... I snuck in a quick break, and next thing you know, I'm back. I feel like I stole that second set."

After dropping the first set to Federer, the 27-year-old Murray mounted an attack in the second, elevating his play to break Federer in the third and fifth games for a 4-1 lead. Federer turned the momentum back in his favour, breaking Murray twice and holding serve to draw level at 4-4. Both players held serve until Murray was broken again while serving to stay in the match, at 5-6.

"I started well, I hit the ball well," Federer added. "I was the more aggressive guy out there. I was having more impact from the baseline and on the serve."

"I was playing too well to get down on myself, I took the missed break points as a good sign. I stayed positive out there," he said.

"I felt this could be a good night for me and I wasn't mistaken."

The comeback victory puts Federer within two wins of a sixth Cincinnati crown. In each previous occasion when Federer reached the semi-final stage of this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event, the 33 year old has gone on to lift the trophy (2005, '07, '09-'10, '12). He will face fifth seed Milos Raonic for a place in Sunday's final.

Federer owns a 5-0 record over Raonic, with their last meeting coming at Wimbledon.

"This court suits him the best. He gets a bit more time to set up shots." said Federer. "But it's simple against a big server; you have to focus on your own game, keep him moving and use variety.

"It's a tough match-up but I've done well against him and I hope for one more like that tomorrow."

Federer's defeat of Murray, No. 9 in the ATP Rankings, also makes him the first player in history to win 10 matches against Top 10 players in 10 different seasons. This season, he leads the Tour in victories against the Top 10 (10-4). At the same stage of the season last year, Federer’s record against Top 10 opponents was 1-6.

Murray was making his 10th appearance in Cincinnati. He claimed the crown twice, in 2008 and 2011, defeating Novak Djokovic on both occasions.

"I started the match off pretty slow tonight," said Murray. "Federer came out quick. Then I had a couple break points in back-to-back games to get into it in the first set. I didn't get either of them.

"Then obviously was well up in the second and blew it. It's a shame."

Today's win drew Federer level with Murray in their ATP Head to Head series (11-11), and extended the Swiss No. 1's lead in most matches won at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level (302-89).

Date: 16th August 2014, Source: ATP and AFP


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