ATP 500Dubai Duty Free Tennis ChampionshipsRoger Federer

Federer takes down Murray in Dubai to win 72nd Title

Who da man? Federer! Another top drawer performance as he secured his 72nd career title seeing off Andy Murray 7-5 6-4 in Dubai. It wasn't the prettiest match but it was Federer who played better on the bigger points, played more aggressive and ultimately created more chances to take the match.

I thought Fed executed a great gameplan and didn't really allow Murray to get on top in the points, in a reverse of how he usually plays Murray he hit a lot to his backhand, arguably his most stellar shot, but yesterday it was rather error prone.

Neither player served great, but it was Roger who executed better off the ground, and played with enough variety to keep Murray off balance. The one real chance Murray had of taking the match away from Roger was at 3-2 in the first set where he squandered 2 break points. Roger held and got the crucial break at 5-5 to serve out the set 7-5.

Despite the set advantage, I still felt the match was very much in the balance, despite being well into the match both players were still playing very tentatively and cagey. Roger broke to lead 3-1, but Murray hit back to lead 4-3 and it looked like momentum could have gone his way. Federer didn't allow that to happen though and rather than let the break effect his mindset, he calmly stuck to his gameplan and broke again to lead 5-4 and served out the match hitting 2 huge inside out forehands to seal the deal. Boom!

Barring the loss to Nadal in Australia, it's been a peRFect start to the season from Federer, he has won 30 of his past 31 tour level matches and won 5 of the last 7 tournaments he's played. For a 30 year old supposedly on the decline that's pretty awesome going.

I'm defending much better than maybe I was in the middle of last year, where I felt like I couldn't come out of the tough defensive positions anymore.

He's looked very sharp, his defence has been amazing and his serve almost impregnable. It's definitely made the next few months of tennis interesting, I don't have huge expectations for Indian Wells and Miami, they play stupidly slow, after that clay will always be tough but I think he has a good chance in Madrid, and then Wimbledon is the one tournament I am pinning my hopes on.

Federer Interview after defeating Murray


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. I read a rare Bodo article recently that I actually agree with. They really need to speed up the courts, there are too many slow surfaces (hard/clay tourneys) and it makes for a mockery sport when all you see/hear are guys/girls groaning as they grind out the point repeatedly. Even Wimbledon has slowed down to the point where even some hardcourts play faster!

    1. Yeah they are way to homogenised. It’s not fun to watch – fast courts + 1st strike tennis = fun to watch.

      Was that the one you commented on about his match wins? I saw boojay in the comments, had to be you!

      1. It is fast compared to most surfaces, but compared to how fast it was throughout the 90’s and early 2000’s it has slowed down drastically. All the courts have been slowed down – Aus, Wimbledon, US Open, IW, Miami all play much slower.

  2. Lol, yeah. I think I got my numbers wrong when I tweeted it. Pretty sure you have it right. Hard to keep track of the wins when he has so many lately!

  3. Btw, color me all kinds of impressed that you managed to spot my comment since there are so many and mine is in the middle-end somewhere.

    Did you catch the relevant Murray article shortly after where Andy thinks Roger could be number 1 for years more if the courts hadn’t slowed down?

  4. why were the courts slowed down in the first place?? I don’t see the logic behind that.. Maybe they thought it was getting all too quiet on court..

    1. Thanks for the comment Anoop.

      It’s tough to say why, but most of the guys who played from 2000 onwards have noticed a change and have said so many times. I think it’s to do with the guys running the game who believe it’s better for the fans; lots of long baseline rallies that draw gasps from the crowd, long matches where fans spend longer in the grounds/spend more money…

      Wimbledon started using a different type of grass and the hard courts are made much more gritty these days to fluff the ball up quicker and make it stick more to the court.

      Pretty crap really as I’d much rather watch a 1 hour match that featured players hitting winners rather than a 5 hour slug fest where the game is won and lost on who makes an error.

      1. I agree with u Mr. Perfect.. Isner’s marathon match in wimbledon, aus open 12 finals were all great games of tug- of- war, but pathetic game of tennis.. I actually believe that crowds cheer the most when a brilliant volley or an unbelievable passing shot is played rather than an error after 40 shots!!! Which is why Federer’s success is very much needed for the game..

      2. Totally agree with you man.

        If you read the ‘Roger Federer’s Tennis will save the world’ post on my blog there’s a link in the comments about how the Nadal Djokovic final was actually bad for tennis.

        In terms of physical endurance it’s impressive but for pure entertainment it’s not up there. Every time Fed steps on court you know he’s capable of producing a shot that requires extreme talent, not the ability to run for 6 hours.

        Roger is pretty much the last of the shot makers around really, and definitely the only one who can deliver consistently. Got players like Kohlschrieber who are fun to watch but aren’t capable of maintaining a high level.

        Every player coming through the ranks are out and out grinders, 2 handed backhand, defensive moonball play. Not fun.

  5. Murray seemed to finally play a bit aggressive against Djokovic and Federer. He used to be 0% aggressive, so I don’t know how the hell Federer’s down 8-6 in head to head before this match.

    1. Yeah he seems to hit through the forehand a little bit more. Was the same against Djokovic. Reckon it’s the Lendl effect?

      I can’t see him ever being the out and out aggressor though just doesn’t have it in him.

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