Federer happy Murray avoided 'double bagel'

Roger Federer was two points away from beating one of his fiercest rivals without dropping a solitary game but said he was happy not to beat Andy Murray 6-0, 6-0 on Thursday.

The Swiss great was leading 6-0, 5-0 and 30-0 on the hapless Murray's serve when he missed a routine volley and the Briton dug deep to register on the giant scoreboard at the O2 Arena.

Federer completed the demolition in the following game for a 6-0, 6-1 victory that sealed top spot in the group with the Swiss having already booked a spot in the last four of the ATP World Tour Finals for the 12th time in 13 appearances.

Anyone who witnessed the way he dismantled Murray, a player he shared an 11-11 career head-to-head with prior to Thursday's clash, would tip him to claim a seventh year-end title.

Federer said it was an almost perfect performance, but he was not too upset at losing the penultimate game.

"Yeah, not so cool because I wouldn't want to be in that position," the 17-times grand slam champion told reporters.

"I was happy to get it done. At the end I was happy I didn't win the second to last game to be quite honest.

"It's uncomfortable. I don't know. I don't like it."

Needing to beat Federer in straight sets to reach the last four, Murray knew he was out of the tournament after going down 6-0 in the opener in just 23 minutes.

"I don't think Andy played his very best," added Federer, who now leads their head-to-head 12-11. "It wasn't a finals. It was a round robin. I had already qualified after the first set. He was already out. The circumstances were not quite the same.

"Nevertheless, it's a big opportunity, huge arena, with a very even head‑to‑head. We've had tough matches in the past. It's a match you don't want to lose. That's why I kept pushing for it and tried to get to the finish line as quick as I could."

He added: "I definitely was able to play on my terms. For me, things went very well. I was able to put Andy under pressure very often, and I think the match couldn't have gone any better for me really."

Federer is the only player to win 6-0, 6-0 in the history of the tournament - in 2005 against Gaston Gaudio in Shanghai - and his emphatic victory on Thursday continued the run of one-sided group matches at this year's version in London.


World number one Novak Djokovic beat Marin Cilic 6-1, 6-1 and Stanislas Wawrinka battered Tomas Berdych by the same score.

Nine of the 10 round-robin matches have been won in straight sets and Federer reckons he knows why.

"I think the surface here doesn't forgive much," the 33-year-old said of the blue indoor court installed at the 17,000-capacity arena. "I think if there's a slight difference of the level from the baseline, it's hard to get out of it.

"We've seen it all week. If there's a bit too big of a gap between the two players, next thing you know, it's a blowout."

Federer, who will end the year ranked number two behind Serbia's Djokovic, hopes his current level can continue for another 10 days - long enough to win the title here and lead Switzerland to Davis Cup glory.

"Haven't won anything yet," said this year's Wimbledon runner-up. "It all looks very nice right now as we speak, but who knows in the next 10 days how bad it's going to get.

"Moods change very quickly. I'm unbelievably happy how the round robin has gone because I did expect it to be much tougher than it ended up being.

"But this is now the business end. This is where I want to play my best and finish already a very good season."

Date: 14th November 2014, Source: Reuters and ESPN UK


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