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Federer ousted by Murray in Shanghai thriller

(Keystone)

Roger Federer, four-time winner of the Shanghai Masters Cup tennis tournament, has been eliminated from this year's event after losing to Britain's Andy Murray.

The Swiss, the world number two player, was aiming for a record fifth win but lost in three sets 4-6, 7-6 (3), 7-5 on Friday in an exciting match that lasted more than three hours.

Friday's loss, combined with his defeat against France's Gilles Simon in an earlier match, meant Federer could not qualify for the semi-finals - the first time he has failed to do so in seven appearances.

Murray, currently ranked fourth in the world and so far undefeated at the tournament this year, now faces Russian Nikolay Davydenko on Saturday to see who will make it to the finals.

Throughout the match against Murray, Federer adopted a decidedly offensive strategy in an attempt to overpower the Scotsman, who is known for being one of the best defensive players on the professional tennis circuit.

Both players fought against injuries to give spectators hours of hard-hitting play before a packed house in Qi Zhong stadium.

Sore back

Murray had to ice his left hand during one of Federer's timeouts. Federer has been suffering from a sore back and received repeated massages between games.

"I don't quit once I step on court," said Federer, who had a stomach bug earlier this week and treatment to his back before the deciding set.

"My body was hurting, normally the best of three sets is peanuts and it's a shame I couldn't handle it today."

At one point during the final set Murray and Federer duelled for nearly 20 minutes before the Swiss prevailed to win the game. Murray then snatched the final two games for the match.

"A win over Roger Federer means almost as much as winning the Masters Cup to me," said Murray, who is one of the few players with a winning record against Federer at 3-2.

"He's the best player of all time. He's still playing great. I know I'm going to be tired tomorrow, but this match meant a lot me," he added.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

The 27-year-old Federer chalked up 11 aces during the match compared with Murray's seven.
Murray won 70% of his first serves compared with Federer's 59%.
Both double-faulted three times.
Federer won 118 of the rallies compared with Murray's 125.

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