Federer thrashing is final nail in coffin for weary Murray’s hopes

 
Frank Dalleres
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Andy Murray avoided a first career double bagel only by winning the penultimate game
BRITAIN’S Andy Murray was left to rue a sour end to 2014 after his slender hopes of reaching the ATP World Tour Finals ended in humiliation at the hands of Roger Federer last night in London.

Murray was crushed 6-0, 6-1 by world No2 Federer in one of the most one-sided losses of his career, condemning him to elimination at the group stage of the lucrative season-ending tournament.

Federer was imperious, winning 54 of 78 points in a 56-minute evisceration of Murray, who looked to be suffering the effects of an arduous late bid to qualify for the tournament at the O2.

Only the Scot’s victory in the penultimate game of the match spared the former US Open and Wimbledon champion a first double bagel – or 6-0, 6-0 reverse – of his career.

“It was a tough night,” said the Scot. “I’ve lost grand slam finals, which has been very tough, but in terms of the way the match went it was not ideal from my side of the court. He played exceptionally well, that’s for sure. I can say I’m disappointed with my level, but even if I’d played well he probably still would have won. He was striking the ball very cleanly and made very few mistakes.

“I’ve never lost 6-0, 6-0 before; I’ve hardly ever lost 6-0, 6-1. It’s very disappointing; it wasn’t what I was looking for. He was through in the group, incredibly loose, he was able to try some shots that he might not try in other situations and everything he tried came off.”

The Swiss 33-year-old admitted feeling uncomfortable at the prospect of routing Murray, who needed to win in straight sets to reach the last four, without losing a single game.

“At the end I was happy I didn’t win the second last game to be quite honest,” said Federer. “It’s uncomfortable. I don’t like it.”

Federer topped Group B ahead of Kei Nishikori, who earlier beat David Ferrer in three sets after the Spaniard had been drafted in as a replacement for Milos Raonic.

Canadian world No8 Raonic withdrew from the tournament just hours before his last match citing a thigh injury.

ORDER OF PLAY
Today’s schedule
■ Novak Djokovic [1] (SRB) v Tomas Berdych [6] (CZE). Not before 2pm

■ Stanislas Wawrinka [3] (SWI) v Marin Cilic [8] (CRO). Not before 8pm

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