Murray caps return to form

BRITAIN’S Andy Murray completed an emphatic return to form and maintained his superb record against Roger Federer by winning the Shanghai Masters.

World No4 Murray clinched his 16th career title and his second of the year with a 6-3, 6-2 victory in which he seized the initiative instantly. The triumph followed the Scot’s win over Federer at the Toronto Masters in August and means he now boasts an 8-5 head-to-head record against the 16-time Grand Slam winner.

“Against Roger you can’t let him get out in front,” said Murray. “You have to go after it early. I returned his serve well and got a lot of free points on my first serve and my second serve has improved so much since the start of the year that he wasn’t really able to take many chances on it.

“I hit a lot of great shots on the run and you need to come up with great shots against Roger if you want to beat him.”

Victory capped a superb week in which Murray did not drop a set and rediscovered the touch that he displayed before a disappointing US Open. The 23-year-old – still looking for his first Grand Slam – suffered a surprising third-round defeat last month at Flushing Meadows to Stanislas Wawrinka, and has failed to shine since.

But in the last few days he has proved that blip is over, also beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Juan Monaco on his way to a sixth Masters title.

Murray wasted no time in establishing the upper hand, breaking Federer in the opening game and never ceding the momentum until the match had been won less than an hour and a half later. He took the first set with a flourish, whipping a cross-court winner after Federer’s drop-shot, and wrapped up the second when the Swiss netted.

Murray’s successful week in China has also secured his place at the ATP World Tour Finals, to be held next month at London’s O2.

Scot’s mastered beating Federer
ANDY MURRAY has now beaten Roger Federer eight times in their 13 meetings, including six times at Masters series tournaments. But Federer still boasts a 3-2 record against Murray in finals, despite back-to-back losses in Toronto and Shanghai, and is 2-0 up at Grand Slams. Remarkably, all 13 of their clashes have been on hard courts.