Federer crashes out in first round in Dubai
Andy Murray has upset Roger Federer in the first round of the Dubai Tennis Championships, handing the top-ranked Swiss his second loss in a row.
Murray rallied to win 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-4 on Monday. It was Federer's first match since his loss to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals of the Australian Open in January, and his first opening-round defeat in three-and-a-half years.
Federer, who won the Dubai tournament four times in the past five years, had not lost in the first round of a tournament since his defeat to Dominik Hrbaty in the Cincinnati Masters in August, 2004. Last year, Federer lost his opening match at the Pacific Life Open to Guillermo Canas, after getting a bye into the second round.
Murray held serve throughout the match and broke Federer in the sixth game of the second set and then again to take a 3-2 lead in the third. The 11th-ranked British player served out the match at love.
"Anytime you get to play someone like Roger it is an honour to be on the same court as him," Murray said. "Each time I play him I step my game up and play pretty well, and I played really well today and served great."
It was Murray's second career victory over Federer, after a second-round win in Cincinnati in August, 2006.
Federer took defeat in his stride, saying he felt "rusty" and had made too many unforced errors.
"Missing forehands by two or three meters - it's just not possible," he said. "I gave him the mistakes today."
It is just the second time since 2003 that Federer has lost two consecutive matches.
After falling to David Nalbandian in the third round at the Paris Masters last November, Federer also lost his first round-robin match against Fernando Gonzalez at the Masters Cup in Shanghai. He went on to win the title.
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