Roger Federer showed that he is still capable of beating the best in the game as he defeated Andy Murray in straight sets at the Barclay’s ATP World Tour Finals in London Sunday.
“Although I struggled early, eventually I really got into the groove from the baseline,” Federer told ESPN. “He doubted himself maybe just a touch, and then at the end there I was able to control the match from the baseline. It was a really good match for me.”
Murray, who won both his first Grand Slam and Olympic Gold in 2012 came out hard and fast in the first set, scoring with his booming serve and aggressive ground game to earn an early service break, but the 31-year-old Federer fought back with great shot-making.
Murray did well enough with his first serve, but he kept serving up an identical second serve to Federer’s backhand, which the Swiss player soon learned to return.
The Swiss master held on to take the first set to a tie-breaker, which he won 7–5, sealing the set with a couple of seemingly impossible high-powered forehands which left Murray unable to respond.
The loss seemed to deflate Murray, who fell behind two breaks in the second set; he surrendered the first break after leading 40-love. Federer then served out the set, beating Murray 6–2.
“The first set—getting that under my belt after being down was huge for me,” Federer said. “He dropped his shoulders maybe a little but after that losing a tie-breaker like that is just rough. I kept on pushing forward so now I get a chance to finish strong which is great”
Federer will face Novak Djokovic in the final Monday afternoon. Federer has beaten the Serbian 12 of their 16 meetings, including in straight sets in Cincinnati earlier this year. Still, the Swiss veteran is taking his opponent very seriously.
“I wasn’t quite sure to what to expect from Novak this week. Seeing him play the first round thought he was bit subdued,” Federer explained. “When he got through that one and the Andy [Murray] matchup was obviously going to give him a lift and now he’s in the tournament, now he’s playing really well and that’s what he showed again today and yesterday as well.”
Federer said he expected a tough match. “He’s playing physical stuff, he’s moving well, he’s playing offensive I’ve got to take it to him, otherwise I ‘m going to do the running and it’s going to be rough.
“I am going to believe in my chance—we’ve both had great seasons so it’s nice we play each other.”
The match will be televised on ESPN at 3 p.m. Monday.