Federer outclasses Murray for fifth US Open title (Lead)

September 9th, 2008 - 8:57 am ICT by IANS  

New York, Sep 9 (IANS) Roger Federer showed Andy Murray Monday what it takes to win a Grand Slam title when he overran the young Scot in straight sets 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 in just an hour and 51 minutes for his fifth consecutive US Open championship. Federer, 27, proved a lot of pundits, who thought the Swiss does not have the mental and physical resources to battle it out with younger brigade, proved wrong by winning his 13th Grand Slam title.

For good measure, he said he would not be stopping at that. “One thing’s for sure, I’m not going to stop at 13,” Federer said in a courtside televised chat before the presentation ceremony.

Federer now has to win only one more major to catch up with American Pete Sampras who has a career record of 14 titles.

Federer adjusted to the windy conditions at Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre better than Murray to equal American Bill Tilden’s record of five straight wins here, achieved in 1924.

The big relief on Federer’s face could be seen after he won the final point as he had a tough year, coming here for the first time without a Grand Slam title.

Now he has one. But the victory does not make him the world number one again as Rafael Nadal will continue to have the tag he snatched from the Swiss after the Beijing Olympic Games.

The victory keeps alive the Swiss champion’s streak of claiming at least one of the four major tennis titles every year since 2002.

Federer, who has extended his winning sequence here to 34 matches, unnerved the Scot who was the US Open junior champion four years ago when Federer won his first title.

Murray, 21, should have been upbeat, having beaten Federer twice in three previous meetings on the Tour. But he was either too stiff to take on the champion or was simply overawed by the occasion of playing in his first Grand Slam final.

Even the numbers do not match as Federer has 56 ATP titles and Murray six. At the end of it all, a consolation for Murray was a $250,000 bonus to his $750,000 prize money and a rise to the No 4 ranking from six.

Federer took the first set in 27 minutes, winning the final four games and breaking Murray’s serve twice as he was sure of his shot-making and controlled aggression to go with it. Not a big server, Murray’s second serve was relentlessly attacked.

Federer clearly looked fresh after a day’s rest, whereas Murray had to play his semi-final over two days to complete his semi-final victory over Nadal because of a tropical storm Hanna, which also pushed the final to Monday from Sunday.

Federer began the second set by breaking Murray to open a 2-0 lead, but the Briton broke back. In fact, he took seven points in a reel on Federer’s serve and in between held his own service game at love. He should have broken Federer a second time when he had 40-love lead. Federer then won four straight points on Murray’s serve at 6-5 to take the second set.

Murray seemed in some discomfort as he kept feeling his knee and that, perhaps, ended all hopes of a fight back in the third set. Federer was all over, cleverly returning everything without going for big winners. He made Murray run up and down the court with smart play.

Federer dropped only three points in racing to a 5-0 lead. In a final flicker, Murray took the next two games, breaking Federer’s serve in the process. But he could not stop the Swiss from clinching the title with a couple of overhead smashes.

Federer went sprawling on the court in celebration, rolled back and got up to raise hands in triumph.

Murray is the fourth British player to lose a Grand Slam final since Fred Perry won the last major in 1936, and that also in New York. Greg Rusedski, John Lloyd and Bunny Austin were the other losing finalists.

Federer receives $1.5 million for the victory and also a Lexus car.

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