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Murray Masters Federer To Claim Shanghai Title

Shanghai, China

Andy Murray© Getty ImagesAndy Murray won his sixth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy.

World No. 4 Andy Murray produced a superb display Sunday as he won his sixth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Roger Federer in the final of the Shanghai Rolex Masters.

The Scot, who clinched his place at the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals earlier in the week, earned 1000 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points and $616,500 in prize money.

Having lost his first three meetings in tour-level finals with Federer, including at the Australian Open in January, Murray has now won two successive finals against the Swiss; his first victory came in the final of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in Toronto in August. He leads their head-to-head series 8-5.

"I enjoy playing him," said Murray. "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."

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Defeat denied Federer a record-equaling 18th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy. The Swiss was looking to draw level with Rafael Nadal, who won his 18th Masters 1000 title in Madrid with victory over Federer. Federer is, though, the all-time leader in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 match wins and has a 221-67 lifetime mark.

Both players came into the final in red-hot form, neither having dropped a set all week. Indeed, Federer had been particularly impressive in straight-sets dismissals of Robin Soderling and Novak Djokovic in his past two matches. However, the Swiss was hindered by a bout of 30 unforced errors in the final as he attempted to win his third tour-level title of the season.

Murray made a fast start to the pair’s 13th meeting and broke serve in the first game as Federer over pressed on his forehand and made costly mistakes. After fighting off Federer’s attempts to break back in the fourth and eighth games, Murray then came up with some magic in the ninth game as he earned two set points with a pin-point accurate forehand passing shot up the line. The Scot then produced a stunning forehand crosscourt passing shot on the run to seal the first set.

The second set was a similar tale as Murray continued to play the big points better and his high standard forced Federer into repeated errors. The Swiss’ forehand let him down as he missed two break point chances in the first game of the second set, and he was denied on two more chances in the third game.

Murray then made his breakthrough in the following game as Federer’s forehand once again went array and the Scot went on to seal victory in the eighth game as Federer netted a backhand volley on Murray’s second match point after 85 minutes.

"Tonight's match was, from my side, very solid," said Murray. "It was obviously a great, great match for me. Made few mistakes. As a tournament overall I'm very happy with it. I served great, especially when I was behind in the games. I hit the ball well from the back of the court. Against Roger you have to go after it early. I returned his serve well tonight and got a lot of free points on my serve; my second serve has improved so much since the start of the season.

“I’ve moved really well all week, the speed was very good tonight. I hit a lot of great shots on the run and you have to come up with a lot of great shots against Federer if you want to beat him.”

"I thought he played well overall," said Federer. "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 29-year-old Federer was bidding to add to the trophies he has won at the Australian Open and Cincinnati (d. Fish) this season; the 16-time Grand Slam champion native slipped to a 63-28 lifetime mark in tour-level finals. 

"I had a good tournament," reflected Federer. "I thought I played well this week. Had some great wins against [Robin] Soderling, [John] Isner, [Andreas] Seppi, also [Novak] Djokovic. I'm very happy with where my game is at. Today could have been better. But, look, Andy was the best player of the tournament so he deserved it."
 

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