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Murray exacts revenge on Federer

(Keystone)

Swiss tennis star Roger Federer has crashed out of the Madrid Masters tournament in the semi finals, losing to the Scot Andy Murray.

Murray defeated Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 on Saturday, taking revenge on the Swiss former number one for his crushing defeat in the US Open final in September.

It took around two hours for the fourth seed Murray to win against his second seed rival at the €2.27 million (SFr3.5 million) ATP event on indoor hard courts at Madrid Arena.

Federer had a good start, breaking the British number one in the fourth game on his way to winning the opening set, but the 21-year-old Scot responded well to level the match.

In the decider Murray sent down ten aces and despite Federer saving six break points, his opponent broke in game 11 and served it out to 7-5.

"Against Federer, you just have to ask yourself - do I go for it and take a chance or sit back and wait?" said Murray. "It was a great hit and probably the most important of the match."

For his part, Federer said that Murray had improved his pace.

"First he had to grow up a little bit, become a man. I think he's taken that step well and he seems much more relaxed on the court which I think helps him," he said in comments posted on his website.

"He's still fiery, which he's supposed to be. I just think you've got to give the young guys time to learn. It's so much more fun to see them learning."

On Sunday Murray beat 16th-ranked Frenchman Gilles Simon, who knocked out world number one, Spaniard Rafael Nadal, in the second semi finals.

US Open clash

Saturday's Federer-Murray clash was a far cry from September 9, when Federer won his fifth straight US Open title, thumping the Scot 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 in the final.

However, Murray has the advantage in their five meetings, having now won three of them.

Federer's defeat in Madrid marks a mixed year for the Swiss tennis star. In August he lost his number one ranking to Nadal after 237 weeks. He has won only one grand slam title this year, the US Open.

The Madrid result ensures that Nadal keeps his top spot for the rest of the year.

But the Swiss will soon be back in action to defend his title at the Davidoff Swiss Indoors tournament in Basel later this week.

"It is always special to compete in my hometown as it is one of the few weeks during the year that I can spend playing and enjoying the company of my family and friends all at the same time," Federer said on his website.

"And it is, of course, an absolute treat to be playing in front of the Swiss fans," he added.

"Big mattress"

However, one area where Federer is consistently ahead is in terms of winnings. Earlier this week he was named he richest tennis player of all time, when he edged past former world number one Pete Sampras of the United States in the prize money stakes.

He has now won $43.3 million (SFr49.1 million) in his tennis career.

But he revealed at the Madrid Masters on Friday that he keeps a close eye on the turbulence in the world money markets.

"It's not been whole lot of fun for anyone," said Federer. "I've followed closely to know what's going on. It seems like the markets may come back a bit now, but I think it will take a while for things to calm down."

Federer, with 13 Grand Slam titles to his name, says that his financial instincts are the opposite of his sporting ones.

"I'm not a big risk-taker off the court, I work so hard and travel so much that I don't want to lose money over problems that I cannot control," he said.

Federer called the current upheaval a challenging time for everyone. "Anyway, I have a big mattress," he joked.

swissinfo with agencies

In brief

The US Open was Federer's 13th grand slam title, one short of Pete Sampras's record.

He has won five times at Flushing Meadows, five times at Wimbledon and three titles at the Australian Open. But the French Open title still eludes him.

Grand Slam titles (open era):
14: Pete Sampras
13: Roger Federer
11: Björn Borg
8: Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl

end of infobox


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