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Federer goes down at Indian Wells

(Keystone)

Swiss tennis star Roger Federer was knocked out of the Indian Wells tournament in the US on Saturday, defeated in the semi-finals by Andy Murray.

Scotsman Murray, currently ranked number four in the world, took three sets to beat Federer – the world number two – 6-3, 4-6, 6-1.

Although Federer came back to win the second set, Murray broke him in the fourth game of the third and from then on was in control. The whole thing was over in one hour and 48 minutes.

Federer played very unevenly, making 32 unforced errors. Afterwards he admitted that he had not played well, and had not found his rhythm.

He said he was disappointed that he had not played better against Murray, but added that up until the semi-final he had had a "decent" tournament.

He paid tribute to Murray, describing him as "a great counterpuncher" who reads the game well.

"He's got great feel, so he's very confident at the moment. He knows he doesn't need to play close to the lines because he knows he can cover the court really well. I think that calms him down mentally. I think that's why he's playing so well," he told journalists.

Murray

Murray said he aimed to keep changing the pace, to prevent his opponent playing his natural game.

"If I started trading big groundstrokes with someone like Federer, I think he likes that. I haven't done it against him and I don't do it against many people," he said.

However, he described his win as "awesome".

It was Murray's fourth consecutive defeat of the Swiss player. In all the Scot has won six of the eight matches the two have played.

French sports writers have dubbed him "Federer's alternative nightmare" – the other nightmare being Nadal, who took over the top ranking from him in 2008 and who has consistently prevented him from winning his 14th grand slam title to equal the record set by Pete Sampras.

Disappointment

Federer, who is now 27, had been out of the circuit with back pain for six weeks before the start of Indian Wells. He told journalists on the eve of the tournament that he was looking forward to playing Nadal again – an ambition now thwarted by Murray.

Federer has not reached the finals of a Masters 1000 tournament since Hamburg last May, when he was beaten by Nadal. His won his last Masters title in Cincinnati in August 2007.

Murray, meanwhile, has had the best season of his career so far, having already won two tournaments - in Dubai and Rotterdam – in 2009.

And to win Rotterdam, he beat Nadal.

swissinfo with agencies

Roger Federer

Age: 27

Career singles titles: 57

Grand slam titles: 13

Australian Open (2004, 2006, 2007)

Wimbledon (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)

US Open (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)

end of infobox


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