Ready or not, Andy Murray and Roger Federer will meet on Saturday in the semifinals of the Cincinnati Masters, in what many are seeing as a preview to this year’s US Open final.
Murray “owns” their head-to-head, enjoying a 6-2 advantage. He’s won all four matches they’ve played since losing to Roger in New York last year, including Madrid (when it was indoors), Masters Cup, Doha and Indian Wells. These four matches have all gone three sets, and have included some memorable melt-downs on Federer’s part. Roger does not like playing Andy Murray, who he’s described as a player who likes to wait for opponent’s mistakes.
“Not my problem,” would be Andy Murray’s best response.
Andy Murray struggled in his quarterfinal match against lucky loser Julien Benneteau today, prompting some to wonder if this could be Roger’s chance. Will Cincinnati be like Madrid earlier this year, where Federer finally found revenge on a rival’s best surface?
Murray’s not too worried about it:
I beat him just before the Australian Open in Doha, and it’s good for the confidence any time that you beat him. But the one thing that wouldn’t change my mindset is that you realise every day is different and that if I lose to him (in Cincy), I can easily beat him at the US Open in a couple of weeks.
In case his confidence was still in doubt, Murray said that he doesn’t need any psychological advantage that might be gained from beating Federer so close to the US Open:
“I don’t think it makes a huge difference because I have beaten him a lot in the past. So if I play him in New York I can definitely win against him – if I play well. So regardless of this week it’s not really going to change my mindset going in against him at the US Open.”
Roger enjoyed a routine win over Lleyton Hewitt in the quarters on Friday, while Andy Murray needed three to put away Benneteau. Perhaps Murray is tired after winning in Montreal last week and is trying to preempt any hysteria that might erupt if he loses tomorrow. Win or lose, there’s no doubt Murray is prepared for New York.
We could have another nervy pairing on Saturday, if both Nadal and Djokovic advance to the other semi. Playing a recovering Nadal on the Spaniard’s least favorite surface makes Nole the favorite – and piles on the pressure. This is the match that might have the bigger psychological aftereffects.
Murray quotes via The Guardian. The headline: “Andy Murray wants to confirm he is Roger Federer’s bogey man.”