I didn’t quite believe this stat going into today’s final in Toronto: Andy Murray held a 6-5 head-to-head advantage over Roger Federer – all matches played on hard court – but had never beaten the Swiss in a final. Roger had reigned supreme in all three of their Sunday meetings: in Bangkok in 2005, the US Open in 2008 and just this season at the Australian Open. Given the fact that Muzzah routed Nadal just yesterday in the semis, it’s no wonder that he told the crowd that winning the Toronto Masters title today over Roger capped off one of the “best weeks” of his life.
Yep, the 7-5, 7-5 victory over Roger – weathering hot, sticky weather and four (FOUR!) rain delays - left Andy feeling FAB-U-LOUS:
ANDY MURRAY: I’m playing a bit freer. I was going for my shots more today and just felt pretty calm on the court all week. If you can put the emotions and how you’re feeling into the way you’re playing rather than sort of showing it after every point. Instead, start saving up (the emotion) and putting it into the points of the rallies. I felt like it worked well. It was one of the best weeks I’ve had so yeah, it was just kind of expressing myself with the way I was playing. I played pretty free flowing tennis and didn’t get too nervous.
Free flowing, yeah, I’m free flowing. . .Andy Murray! (Put those words to Tom Petty’s tune and you have the winner of Murray’s yet-to-be-announced theme song contest.)
Andy Murray joins Davydenko, del Potro, Nalbandian and Djokovic to become the fifth player ever to beat both Federer and Nadal en route to a title. Murray had a bit to say about that accomplishment:
“Roger and Rafa I think they’ll be two of the best rivals ever. It’s a tough era, but it’s also something that’s exciting and challenging and that’s why I think that if you can do it (beat them both en route to a championship) it makes it a much better achievement. So hopefully I can give myself a good shot at the US Open.”
Yes, Andy Murray is looking forward to the US Open. He said during the trophy ceremony that he was hoping to meet Roger Federer again in the final there. He was asked about Federer’s current form:
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t think he’s got worse. I think the game’s got better. The depth. And his consistency for 4 or 5 years was unbelievable and will probably never be matched. With what he’s doing in the slams and getting to the semis and finals of pretty much every tournament he plays in. And I think as you get older it’s a lot harder to keep that up. There’s a lot of young guys coming through and a lot of big, big hitters like Soderling and Berdych that can make it very, very difficult. He’s still playing great tennis at the Grand Slams, that’s for sure. And I think that’s what his goal is to play his best tennis there. But I think it’s difficult to be as consistent as he has been.
As far as Roger Federer’s concerned, he’s satisfied.
Federer told us after the match:
“It’s nice winning matches, you know. Especially close ones – the ones against Berdych and Djokovic. Physcially with the breaks, coming back, the breaks, coming back and with all the physical strain I had to go through this week, you know, honestly I’m feeling pretty good considering. That’s definitely a good sign for what’s to come.”
Hey, here’s some bulletin board material!
Q (paraphrased): What does beating you and Nadal this week mean for Murray going forward?
Roger Federer: It’s obviously nice. It still doesn’t give you a grand slam title.
Okay, so keep an eye out for that one in The Mirror or whatever. Here’s the quote in context:
Roger Federer: “It’s obviously nice. It still doesn’t give you a grand slam title – like you guys are expecting him to do so badly – but it’s definitely the right direction. I think what’s most important, actually, for both of us – since Australia we haven’t had the results we were hoping for after playing so well right off the bat. For us it’s really important knowing that now that we’re back on hard court our games are back on. And now we can look ahead at what’s to come because we’re going to stay on this surface for the next seven months. So I think that’s a big positive for both of us.”
Another possible headline, somewhere: “Roger Federer blames muscle pain for loss to Murray!”
Actually, Roger says he’s feeling very well, physically, given the tough, back-to-back matches he’s played this week. When he was asked why he wasn’t going full out on his serve at the beginning of the match:
ROGER FEDERER: I do have muscle pain all over my shoulder, arm and chest. But that’s something that I’m quite used to. It started at the beginning of the week. Small hindrance, maybe. But I could serve full and it didn’t play on my mind. Just general fatigue a little bit. But muscle pain, that’s not something I’m worried about.
Also of note – New trial coach Paul Annacone wasn’t in the stands today because of lingering Lawn Tennis Association duties. But he also won’t be going to Cincinnati – Severin Luthi is already there. Unfortunately we didn’t get confirmation either way about Annacone’s long term relationship with Team Roger.
Oh, and lest I forget! Roger will be wearing pink next week, but no more pink until at least 2012. Roger says his colors are decided until the end of next season. But he has nothing against pink.
Some photos from the win and the pressers:
And this concludes GTT’s coverage of the 2010 Toronto Masters! Thanks, everyone for following us this week! And thanks to the lovely press room folks in Toronto for making our stay so pleasant (not to mention my cousins Cort and Susan for the fantastic place to stay!)