Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Masterly Federer eliminates shell-shocked Murray from World Tour Finals

updated 6:13 PM EST, Thu November 13, 2014
Roger Federer consoles Andy Murray after the Swiss blew the Scot away in a virtuoso display.
Roger Federer consoles Andy Murray after the Swiss blew the Scot away in a virtuoso display.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Roger Federer inflicts joint worst defeat of Andy Murray's career
  • Swiss took just 56 minutes to win 6-0 6-1
  • Federer victory propels Kei Nishikori into semifinals
  • Nishikori beat Milos Raonic replacement David Ferrer earlier on Thursday

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Britain's Andy Murray battled long and hard to make it to the ATP World Tour Finals but he may wish he hadn't following one of the most humiliating defeats of his career.

It came against a Roger Federer who was a mixture of majestic, imperious and brutal as he battered the home favorite 6-0 6-1.

With Kei Nishikori having won earlier on Thursday, Federer came into the match knowing he had already made the semifinals -- and that freedom allowed a performance of flair and firepower.

Read: Murray sets up Federer showdown

Fifty-six minutes later, he had another exquisite win to reflect upon, a result that sent the Japanese through to the last four.

"I am clearly very happy to have played a good match," Federer said on court.

Magnificent 7 for Fed at O2?
Will Djokovic be top dog again?
Behind the scenes at the O2
The mental strength of tennis pros
Thomas Muster's tour stories
Wear and tear of the tennis season
Kei Nishikori reflects on U.S. Open

"I knew I was qualified so I went into the match more relaxed. It's not the way I thought it was going to go."

The Swiss almost won without dropping a game, only for Murray to salvage a morsel of pride in front of the London crowd by winning the 12th game of the match.

Having been just two points away from the first 'double bagel' of his career, his appearance on the scoreboard brought up one of the biggest cheers of the night.

But despite some shaking of heads from the locals in the London crowd, most left feeling they had watched a masterclass from one of the game's greatest practitioners.

"I can say I'm disappointed in my level but if I played well, he would probably still have won anyway," said Murray afterwards. "He played exceptionally well."

"It was a tough night. I've lost (grand) slam finals and stuff, which has been very tough, but in terms of the way the match went, it was not ideal from my side of the court. Far from it."

As he hinted, this was an understatement.

The 17-time grand slam champion needed just 23 minutes to reach set point, and he wrapped up the set for the loss of just eight points.

Winning the set qualified Nishikori for the semis, with the debutant having won 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 against David Ferrer, who replaced Milos Raonic after the Canadian pulled out with injury.

It also eliminated Murray, who had needed to win in straight sets, from the competition.

The Scot kept on losing games -- the seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh -- in one of his most humbling experiences and his worst defeat since losing 6-1 6-0 to Novak Djokovic in 2007.

He would not have heard the advice the watching Jose Mourinho gave to Sky Sports television after the first set, but Murray may take some solace from the Chelsea coach's words should he ever hear them.

"There are some matches where we feel it is not our day," said the Portuguese.

"Sometimes a bad defeat is the beginning of many, many victories and hopefully next season will be great for Andy."

Murray is one of the 'Big Four' but Federer, who can still finish the year as world No. 1, put the two-time grand slam winner in his place.

"It was good fun," Federer told Sky Sports television later.

Incredibly, the world No. 2 only got 39% of his first serves in but he won all 14 points when he did.

He has now reached the semifinals of the tournament for a twelfth time, so equaling the record of Murray's former coach Ivan Lendl, as the 33-year-old seeks a seventh Tour Finals title.

He is also in contention to finish the year as world no. 1 but he needs Tomas Berdych to provide a major upset by stopping Novak Djokovic in both players' final Group A match on Friday.

Asian Gains

Federer's victory in straight sets continued the theme of the finals but the introduction of Ferrer resulted in the tournament's first three-setter.

The gritty Spaniard, who had practicing at the O2 Arena as the first reserve, came in after Raonic revealed he suffered a slight tear in his thigh when losing to Murray on Tuesday.

"I would be unfair to fans if I was to go out and play a mediocre match," said the big-serving Canadian.

"If I was to step on court, I could lose up to 6-8 weeks. That was a significant factor in my decision."

Read: Nishikori makes memorable debut

Nishikori, who lost this year's U.S. Open final, only found out shortly before walking on court that he wouldn't be playing Raonic.

"It was really difficult to make this adjustment (to face Ferrer)," said the Japanese.

"They told me one hour before the match."

He took a while to settle, losing the first set but then fighting back in a performance where he hit 41 winners.

Group A concludes on Friday, with Stan Wawrinka also in action against Marin Cilic, who has lost both his games so far.

Read: Meet the Elite Eight

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:08 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Rafael Nadal of Spain watches the ball in his match against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during during day seven of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 3, 2014 in Beijing, China.
Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
updated 8:42 AM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
A year that began in uncertainty for Roger Federer ended with a historic title for the 17-time grand slam champion and his country.
updated 12:16 PM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
updated 8:48 AM EDT, Thu September 11, 2014
French Tennis player Rene Lacoste, one of France's 'Four Musketeers' who won the Davis Cup in 1932, at Wimbledon. He is wearing his embroidered crocodile motif. Original Publication: People Disc - HH0434 (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
updated 2:36 AM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
Marin Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanicevic by claiming a grand slam crown for Croatia, winning the U.S. Open.
updated 9:34 AM EDT, Sun September 14, 2014
Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
updated 9:21 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
updated 8:52 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
updated 7:02 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
updated 7:01 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
updated 9:14 PM EDT, Sun June 22, 2014
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
updated 3:46 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
ADVERTISEMENT