A majestic Roger Federer proved too good for a tired Andy Murray in the Cincinnati Masters 1000 semi-finals. The 34-year-old Swiss, who is the defending champion and going for his seventh Cinci title, doesn't seem to be showing any sign of slowing up. In fact, he is defying age as he continues to keep incredibly high standards.
It was clear from the first game of the match that Murray had his work cut out for him as Federer immediately threatened his serve, forcing him into three deuce's before the British number one managed to hold on. On the contrary, Federer was holding with ease and broke Murray in the third game of the set. The remainder of the set was played out rather routinely, Federer comfortably keeping Murray at bay to see it out 6-4.
Although the world number two managed to stay on serve with Federer all the way through the second set to a tie-break, his seemingly fruitless attempts at breaking the 17 time grand slam champion's serve was evident, while Federer always seemed menacing against Murray's. Federer again glided relatively untroubled through the tie-break as he took it 8-6 and the match 6-4, 7-6 (8-6).
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Fatigue may also have been a factor in Murray's lose, along with being peppered by array of Federer winners; many of which kissed the lines. It has been a tiring two weeks for Murray after going all the way last Sunday in Montreal and being involved in three testing earlier matches in Cinci.
Federer, despite his older years, should be fresh coming though the week without even losing a service game. The former world number one told Sky Sports: "I was able to play my style and play and do what I wanted to do. I did well I must say, because Andy has been on a great run so I didn't quite know how tired (he'd be) or what to expect, so maybe I took advantage of that at the very end."
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US Open coming-up
The two time grand slam champion will look to recuperate and should be raring to go when he tries to win the US Open for the second time a week Monday. Although he should be happy with winning the Rogers cup last Sunday and defeating world number one Novak Djokovic for the first time since the Wimbledon final of 2013, he has to contend with another losing streak going into the last slam of the year.
It is the fifth win in a row for Roger against his Scottish counterpart, wins which include the Scot's worst ever professional defeat at last year's World Tour finals (6-0,6-1) and their Wimbledon semi-final this year. But Murray can take heart that he has beaten Federer 11 times in the past if they are to meet again at Flushing Meadows.
History could be made in Cinci final
Federer will meet a resilient Novak Djokovic in the final. The Serbian managed to show his battling attributes as he came through an injury to his diaphragm earlier in the day to beat Alexander Dolgopolov 4-6, 7-6(7-5) 6-2.
The Australian Open Champion is bidding to be the only man to win all nine of the Masters 1000 titles when he faces Federer in the final. It will be the 41 meeting between the two greats, each man having 20 wins over the other.
The final is due to commence at the Linder Family Center at 6pm local time on Sunday 23.