Roger Federer today showed why he is favourite to lift the 2010 ATP World Tour Finals with a masterclass of tennis against World Number 5 Andy Murray of Great Britain.
The Swiss tennis star was in imperious form as he took this Round Robin match in fine style, winning 6-4 6-2 this afternoon.
Last night, Federer’s chief rival and current World Number 1, Rafael Nadal, of Spain, came through a difficult encounter with American Andy Roddick in three sets, 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4, to show just how much depth there is at the top of the game now.
Federer is probably better on the surface than Nadal, and, as he showed today, there really are few better at hitting passes and returning serves on a slightly slow surface such as this. That said, Murray was poor this afternoon: the Scotsman’s first serve percentage was in the low 30s, and Murray further contributed to his own demise with 13 errors.
Federer played his usual high percentage game: hitting plenty of first serves, and returning everything that was hittable. He also played a number of magnificent, trademark winners off both the backhand and the forehand, cross-court and down lines. Such shots mark Federer out as a cut above, and will continue to do so as long as he continues to enjoy the sport he has dominated for so long.
The win gives Federer control of Group B, while Murray must wait for the result of the Soderling v Ferrer match this evening. He may need to beat Ferrer to be assured of a place in the final knock-out rounds, though, having defeated Soderling in the opening round, he did have a little margin for today’s frequent errors.
For Murray, the question of consistency has once more reared its head, and it appears again, as oft before, that his problems are mental: one never quite knows which Andy Murray will emerge onto the court. As he discovered today, any drop from his top level and Grand Slam past masters like Federer are out of sight, very, very quickly. The question for Murray’s camp is surely how to get the best from him every time.
Federer rarely has “off days” which is why he goes deep into almost every tournament he plays. ATP World Finals 2010 appear to be business as usual for Roger Federer.
ATP World Tour Finals 2010 – How Things Stand
Below are the standings as at 16:00 GMT following the Federer v Murray result. The top two players from each Round Robin Group qualify for the Semi-Finals.
- Novak Djokovic SER (3) (Record 1-0)
- Rafael Nadal ESP (1) (Record 1-0)
- Andy Roddick USA (8) (Record 0-1)
- Tomas Berdych CZE (6) (Record 0-1)
- Roger Federer SUI (2) (Record 2-0)
- Andy Murray GBR (5) (Record 1-1)
- Robin Soderling SWE (4) (Record 0-1)
- David Ferrer ESP (7) (Record 0-1)