Stunned Murray in awe of freaky Federer

Like most watching, Andy Murray was left in awe of Roger Federer after being schooled in a Wimbledon semi-final masterclass from the great Swiss.


Britain’s big hope played superbly himself, but fell victim to a breathtaking grasscourt display as Federer swept into a record 10th final at the All England Club with a 7-5 7-5 6-4 victory on Friday.

Federer’s serving in particular was supreme, the seven-times champion sending down 20 aces – more than double what he averaged in his first five rounds – and offering up just one break point, in the very first game of the match.

The shellshocked Scott admitted he’d been powerless to stop the smooth Swiss in full flight.

“I couldn’t get a racquet on a lot of the returns,” said Murray. “He served fantastic.

“Apart from the first game where I had the chance there, I didn’t really have any opportunities.

“Then that puts pressure on you. The pressure builds throughout the set that way.

“Obviously I got broken right at the end all of the sets, but didn’t actually play a bad match.

“At times I played some very good tennis. I served well. Best I probably served in the tournament myself. So, yeah, it’s just a tough one.”

Murray entered the semi-final, the 2013 champion’s sixth in the past seven years, in career-best touch.

He’d lost just two matches since February, both to world No.1 Novak Djokovic, and crowned his promising build-up with a record-equalling fourth Queen’s Club title.

But the world No.3 departed shaking his head in disbelief at the quality of Federer’s game.

Turning 34 next month, Federer is the oldest man to make the final since 39-year-old Ken Rosewall in 1974.

“I mean, there’re very few players that have been able to do it, on the men’s side,” Murray said.

“Obviously (Andre) Agassi played some great tennis into his 30s. Jimmy Connors is another one that played well late.

“I don’t know if anyone’s played as well as Roger maybe at that age.

“Serena obviously on the women’s side is doing it. But they’re pretty rare athletes. They’re two of the best that have ever played the game.”

He said Federer may well even be the best to have played any sport.

“In my opinion, tennis is an extremely difficult sport. I think individual sports, to be great for a long time, you have to have so many different ingredients to, I don’t know, your abilities.

“Physical, mental; the way he plays the game is obviously nice to watch as well.

“When people can talk about someone like (soccer superstar Lionel) Messi, people love the way he plays the game. He makes it look easy. It stands out more, too.

“But, yeah, he’s a great sportsman, a great tennis player. I don’t know, it’s tough to say if he’s the best of all time.

“Serena’s got a fair shout at it, saying the same thing, as well, right now.”