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Tuesday 24 October 2017

Murray: No fear vital for facing down Fed

Andy Murray may have registered his eighth win in 13 meetings with Roger Federer yesterday but the Scot is adamant he does not find it easy against the Swiss master.

Murray claimed the Shanghai Masters crown with an impressive 6-3 6-2 win as Federer was frustrated in his bid to equal Rafael Nadal's record of 18 ATP Masters titles and move joint fourth with Pete Sampras on the open-era titles list by claiming his 64th career trophy.

World number four Murray is one of the few players to have a winning record against Federer, but he said he had to fight for each of the eight wins.

He said: "I enjoy playing him. I don't find it easy at all. It's incredibly difficult every time. But I love the challenge of playing against him. I don't fear playing him. Every time I go on, I know I need to play great tennis to win against him."

Murray felt his improved second serve was key to his emphatic victory.

"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."

Murray got off to the perfect start by breaking Federer in the first game.

The set then continued with serve until Murray, at 5-3, broke Federer again with a couple of sublime passing shots to take the opening set.

Murray handed Federer chances to get back into the match by offering break points in each of his first two service games of set two, but the Scot held his nerve and saved both.

Murray then broke Federer in game four and the Swiss became frustrated after going 3-1 down.

His mood no doubt took a turn for the worse when Murray won the next game to love and, although Federer reduced the arrears to 4-2, Murray sensed the win and stormed the next two games to close out the match.

Federer, who will return to the world number two spot today courtesy of reaching the final, paid tribute to his victorious opponent.

"He played well overall. He didn't give me much," said Federer.

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