Ugh, that flubbed drop shot on break point in the first set! Roger, what were you thinking? He clues us in after the match:
“Look, today, the whole match just turned out for me, every time it got important, it was not going my way. Then you feel like it’s a wave coming at you and you just can’t escape it. That’s kind of the feeling I had today.”
Hang ten, Andy!
Andy Murray beat Roger Federer 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the Shanghai Masters on Sunday. Murray is the Master of the Masters (Anyone got a stat for me? Most Masters series won by a player without holding a Major title? Murray has to be the winner of that one. . .) Roger Federer, however masterful he looked this week – beating Soderling 6-1, 6-1! – just couldn’t hold his own against the A-muzzing Muzz (sorry, that’s what I come up with after a glass of wine!)
Murray explains his scintillating form in this final:
Q. Can you explain why you have such a good record against him?
ANDY MURRAY: No. I mean, it’s difficult. 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. You know, but I know that I could lose the match easily if I don’t play my best. So maybe every time I go on, I know, you know, I need to play great tennis to win against him.
I mean, I don’t know if my game matches up well against his or not. But I’ve played some of my best tennis against Roger.
And Roger explains his friggin’ god awful performance:
“. . .Missing so many important shots really over and over again obviously took a lot of my confidence away. Then the targets seemed to get smaller and smaller. That’s definitely his credit, a pity for me. But I had a good tournament. I thought I played well this week. Had some great wins against Soderling, Isner, Seppi, also Djokovic. I’m very happy with where my game is at. Today could have been better. But, look, Andy was the best player of the tournament so he deserved it.“
I couldn’t help but smile reading this – Fed haters, enjoy!:
Q. He’s clearly got a very decent record against you in best of three matches. In best of five, you’ve come out on top. Is there somewhat of a different mindset, not more capable, but in the ascendancy in Grand Slam matches rather than in best of three?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, look, he’s still going for his first Grand Slam, so that’s hard, you know. You also got to give the guy a bit of I don’t want to say time, but like credit for trying and playing so well in the Masters 1000s. He’s won a bunch of those guys now.
Obviously clearly the next step for him is to win a Grand Slam. But it’s not easy to break through. You have to break through me, I don’t know if he’s been in another Grand Slam final other than me. There’s tough guys at the top right now and they don’t give you just an easy match, you know.
But he’s capable of beating everybody right now. He’s proven it. He’s beaten everybody multiple times, I think Rafa, Novak, myself. That’s what you got to do, and hopefully you can string those matches together when it really matters in slams.
But the tour is just not only slams, you know. He’s having another good year. I’m happy for him because he’s a good player.
It’s a nice surprise – for me, at least – to hear that Roger’s playing Stockholm next week. Here’s his pre-tournament press conference with tournament directors and old buddies Jonas Bjorkman and Thomas Johansson.
After Sweden, Roger will play his home tournament in Basel, followed by the Paris Masters and the big WTF. So we Fed fans will have plenty of chances to moan, groan and cheer. Heck, at least he looks happy:
Murray’s next tournament is in Valencia, starting on October 30.
And though I haven’t been following the WTA tour closely this past week, I have to put a shout out to Ana Ivanovic for winning Linz (6-1, 6-2 vs. Patty Schnyder) this weekend without losing a set. This is her first title in two years – her last one coming at the same tournament in 2008 – and she’s feeling pretty great about it.
More WTA props to Kimiko Date Krumm and Tamarine Tanasugarn who at ages 40 and 33, respectively, competed in the “oldest” final in women’s pro tennis history this weekend at the Japan Women’s Open. Thai No. 1 Tanasugarn was the victor, defeating Krumm 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-1 in over three hours. But what a run Krumm had to the final, defeating 16 year old Laura Robson, World No. 8 Sam Stosur (becoming the first 40-year-old to to beat a top ten player in the process), and No. 3 seeded Shahar Peer on her way to the final. I need a snow shovel to peel my chin off the floor.