So Fed goes down to Murray for the fifth time (unofficially sixth), and I think it's safe to say that Murray is the better of the two players at the moment. It's strange (and frustrating) how Federer always takes the first set, before Murray beats him comfortably in the next two. Despite being a Federer fan, I have to admit that it's almost as if Murray is a better version of Federer himself; he's the same style of player as Federer, using brilliant shots to bamboozle his opponents, but he does it with less unforced errors, which is the key to his victories. If the various aspects of their games are looked at, it appears that Murray comes top in most of them:
Forehand: The forehand is the exception to that. Federer's is the more natural shot and he can generate more power and spin off it than Murray. However, it has a tendency to misfire at crucial moments, unlike Murray's, which is more solid.
Backhand: Murray's is clearly better here. Near the end of the third set Murray just settled into backhand to backhand rallies knowing that Federer couldn't really hurt him and would eventually miss. Their slice backhands seem to be on a par at the moment; Federer's slice is legendary, but Murray's was the equal of it in the match today.
Serve: Once again Murray wins here as well. Federer couldn't produce any first serves when he needed them, whereas Murray made 3 in a row to save break points at the start of the third set. Murray can also generate more pace off the first serve as well, meaning he doesn't have to hit the lines like Federer does to get the free points.
Volleys: Federer is said to be a great volleyer, but I haven't seen much evidence of that recently. He has a tendency to dump straightforward volleys into the net with annoying regularity, and is often easily passed by the likes of Murray, which might say something about the quality and placement of his approaches. Murray has shown great touch at the net, although he only usually comes in when he has a very easy put away.
Murray also seems superior in terms of mental strength and movement at the moment. From this analysis it might seem that Murray should destroy Federer in straight sets. However, when Federer is playing well his shots go up a gear and he can beat Murray by simply powering him off the court as he showed at the US Open. The problem he's having is that anything less than a 95%-100% performance is not enough for him to beat Murray. Fed can't really hide behind the excuse that this wasn't a grand slam match - unless he starts correcting the flaws in his own game this losing streak is just going to continue, and if he doesn't watch it he could well find himself behind Murray in the rankings by the end of the year.