Andy Murray v Roger Federer

Dubai Championships final

3 March 2012 Last updated at 17:15

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As it happened

  1. 1702: 

    Right all, the beginnings of a report on Federer's win over Murray is now up, check back later for reaction from the two men. Thanks for your company this week, we will be back for Indian Wells, Miami and beyond....


    Murray's sometime coach Darren Cahill on Twitter: "Really enjoy watching these two play. Always a tug o war of tactics forever changing. Andy had chances early but Roger was too good today."

  3. 1655: 

    A few match stats: Murray first serves - 48%; Federer 52%. Murray return points won - 29%; Federer 39%. Murray break points won - 1-3; Federer 3/9. And, maybe crucially, with Federer's first-serve percentage relatively low, Murray could only win 56% of points on the Swiss star's second serve.

    But all in all, a week in which Murray beat the world number one and looks in good nick ahead of back-to-back Masters events at Indian Wells and Miami. And Federer remains something pretty special.

    Murray 5-7 4-6 FedererFEDERER WINS FIFTH DUBAI TITLE

    Murray keeps the pressure on Federer by making the first move at 30-15 and attacking the net, drawing a loose forehand to make it 30-30. A great rally follows with both men having their moments, before Federer fires a heavy forehand into Murray's backhand corner that the Scot cannot retrieve. Match point... and Federer goes long with a forehand. That shot dominates at deuce, though, as Federer batters his way through the Murray defences. Match point number two.... and Federer rips a huge forehand into the corner for a clean winner. Great stuff from Federer, very much the man of the week in Dubai.

    Murray 5-7 4-5 * Federer

    Great stuff from Federer, who has had the edge all day. He works his way to 0-40 and three break points.... the first disappears with an error before Murray clatters a backhand into the net - the story of his night - and Federer will serve for the match.


    Alistair, Edinburgh, via text: "Its all very well saying how well Murray played yesterday but his talent is not what is being called into question, its his continued inability to win the big finals... when is lendl going to get him to fulfil his potential?"

    Fair point, just how long is he going to give Lendl? It's been two months now and he still hasn't won Wimbledon.

    Murray * 5-7 4-4 Federer

    Federer is back on track on serve as he races to 40-0 before Murray attacks a second serve and hits a winning backhand return. The Briton goes for too much with a forehand on the next point though and we're level.

    Murray 5-7 4-3 * Federer

    Murray is fuming after finding the net on the opening point and is then drawn into a lengthy rally, but it's Federer who cracks first and it's 15-15. Murray has bit more bite on his groundstrokes right now as the adrenaline flows but his usually reliable backhand is breaking down too often, another error making it 30-30. Following it up with a double-fault is potentially disastrous for the world number four. Break point... and Federer works an opening only to miss with the forehand down the line. An ace seals a dramatic game and Murray is 'pumped' as he heads to the chair.

    Murray * 5-7 3-3 Federer

    Federer makes things interesting with a double-fault and a forehand error to fall 15-30 down, and a lob followed by a cheeky drop volley makes it 15-40 and two break points for Murray.... the Scot pumps his fist and is still up for this. Federer moves to the net, Murray sends up a lob that the Swiss gets back, Murray goes for another lob... and this time Federer is stretching just too much and nets the attempted backhand smash. Federer is broken for the first time this week. Don't go anywhere just yet.


    Laura Lambert "Whatever happens this match, we mustn't forget the incredible match murray played yesterday...beating world no 1 takes a lot!!" #bbctennis

    Murray 5-7 2-3 * Federer

    Murray gets a love hold of his own as the pressure comes out of the contest for now, with Federer blasting one backhand so long that it endangers the watching dignitaries. Rog can probably get away with that, mind.


    Ryan, Rushden, via text: "Just as expected - murrays service causing him problems. He needs to make the high sixties to be in with a chance of a slam."

    Murray * 5-7 1-3 Federer

    Wonderful stuff from Federer in the forecourt once again, stepping back after a volley to hit the next shot from almost behind him and flicking the backhand for a winner cross-court. He's 40-0 up within a trice, and a tired-looking Murray gets his footwork all wrong as he chips a backhand wide. "Roger, Roger!" pipes up the crowd, risking accusations of only singing when they're winning.

    Murray 5-7 1-2 * Federer

    A brief break in pictures means I return to the match with Murray 0-30 and running for his life, but he comes up with a fine forehand down the line as Federer bears down on the net. The Briton is brought into the forecourt once again on the next point though, and this time Federer wins the mini battle with a forehand winner of his own. It's 15-40, two break points.... and Murray looks to have hit an ace, but Federer goes to Hawkeye and is proved spot on. Murray must go for a second serve and Federer takes control of the rally, drawing the error and with it the break.

    Murray * 5-7 1-1 Federer

    Not this time. Federer wins that service game as easily as any in the match so far, a sweeping forehand behind another good first serve taking it to love.

    Murray 5-7 1-0 * Federer

    Murray gets off to a solid start with a hold to 15 but needs to get going on the Federer serve now, having won just 30% of points off the Swiss so far.


    Jacqui F via text: "51 per cent 1st serve now from AM. Wont get the job done w that."


    toady on Twitter: "Following live txt from cafe in paisley having been watching judy murray coaching tinies on local ct. Thawing out am freezing!"

    Murray * 5-7 Federer

    Federer rolls smoothly to 40-0, chucks in a double-fault, but takes the set when Murray goes wide with a forehand. Tight, but Federer holds the edge after 51 minutes.


    Andrew Castle on Twitter: "The hand of Annacone in Federer's tactics.....Paul was a pain with his chip/charging. It plants doubt in an opponents mind."

    Murray 5-6 * Federer

    A double-fault and an unforced error have Murray in trouble at 0-30, and Federer then mishits a return that works beautifully as a drop shot. It's 0-40 and three break points for Federer.... who goes for a huge backhand winner down the line and misses by a fraction. Murray then digs deep for a service winner, and grapples control of the following rally before guiding a backhand volley into the space. A great effort from Murray but there is more work to be done when Federer chip-charges, prompting Murray to net an attempted backhand pass. Break point number four.... second serve... and Federer completely mistimes a forehand that barely makes the doubles tramlines. Very odd. Murray is too deep now though and allows Federer to line up a heavy forehand winner. Break point five.... again Murray is drawn to the net by a mishit, and this time Federer makes no mistake with a fearsome backhand that Murray cannot control. Federer will serve for the set.


    Ashley-Eve Twaddle "C'Mon Andy!! resisting the temptation to shout at the live text commentary!" #bbctennis#

    Why resist?

    Murray * 5-5 Federer

    Good serve, athletic drive-volley, Beatlesque screaming. And that's just 15-0 for Federer. He's soon at 40-0, at which point Murray scoops a brilliant backhand lob over the Swiss, but it only delays another hold for a few moments.


    Charlotte via text: "I like the sound of 'Federer flailing in vain'. More of that, please, Andy!"

    Murray 5-4 * Federer

    Federer volleys into the net with the court gaping for the second time today, and a weak backhand return hands Murray a 40-0 lead. The Briton double-faults, but a good first serve then does the job.


    joe danson on Twitter: "Federer is looking good but andys serving well, could be a cracking match this." #bbctennis

    Murray * 4-4 Federer

    A framed return from Murray at 40-15 creates the kind of angle you couldn't get off your strings, and try as he might Federer cannot get the ball back in play. No matter, the Swiss bangs down an ace and has still yet to drop serve all week.

    Murray 4-3 * Federer

    Murray opens with a badly mistimed backhand but does not let it ruffle him and comes back with four points in a row, a smash finishing the game off in some style. Murray's first-serve percentage is currently 58%, which isn't ideal but significantly better than Federer's 43%.

    Murray * 3-3 Federer

    Murray steps it up on return for the first time today and draws a couple of errors from Federer as he moves to 15-40 and two break points.... the Scot unexpectedly sends a backhand long on the first, before netting a forehand under pressure on the second. The chance is gone as Federer takes the game with a drop shot-volley combination that has Murray scrambling to no effect.


    Daily Telegraph correspondent Simon Briggs on Twitter: "A little spat with umpire Lahyani, who bafflingly overruled (wrongly). Muzz responds with an ace and a fizzing backhand pass. Hanging tough."

    Murray 3-2 * Federer

    Nice challenge! Murray is looking a little edgy at 30-15, more so when a serve down the 'T' is called out, but the big computer in the sky confirms that it actually brushed a particle or two of paint. Two game points for Murray, and he takes the first with a backhand pass down the line that has Federer flailing in vain.

    Murray * 2-2 Federer

    The Federer forehand runs this game, with only a typically misjudged Hawkeye challenge disrupting Roger's regal process, and he wraps it up to love with a serve-volley.


    Times correspondent Neil Harman on Twitter: "The Fed looks in terribly good nick this evening."

    Murray 2-1 * Federer

    Federer charges in behind an approach down the middle but it's right in the zone for Murray, who smacks a cross-court backhand winner past him - his best moment so far. Federer pounces on a second serve and hammers a forehand winner off the return to trail 30-15, and he plays an even better forehand for 30-30 after Murray has moved him out wide. Federer has a chance when Murray loops in a very short second serve but can do nothing with it, and Murray hits ace number two to seal the game.

    Murray * 1-1 Federer

    Ha, magical stuff from Federer early in the game has the crowd cooing and Murray scampering. He flicks a forehand at an outrageous angle on his way to 30-0 and an unplayable drop shot makes it 40-15. A good Murray return brings it back to 40-30 and Federer then puts a backhand into the net, but from deuce the Swiss forces an error and strokes a smooth backhand down the line for a winner.

    Murray 1-0 * Federer

    After a slightly dodgy opening point, Murray is looking good when he mvoes to 40-15 with an ace. Federer pegs him back and then wins a long, patient rally when Murray hooks an ugly forehand well wide. Deuce, and Federer finds the baseline with his return before moving in to drop over the volley - only to dump it in the net. A Federer forehand then ends in the same place and Murray holds.

    * denotes next to serve

  38. 1512: 

    Murray is stricking with the orange shirt and blue shorts, Federer with black top and white shorts. Murray to serve....

  39. 1508: 

    Federer remains a mighty opponent on any surface, but especially one as fast as Dubai, and his desperately tight win over Del Potro on Saturday showed that the Swiss is in top form. He's also likely to have the backing of most of the 5,000 spectators as Rog tends to be the star of the show wherever he goes. Both men are out on court, bags are being unpacked, sports drinks lined up and general world-class fidgeting is well under way.


    Cameron, Oxford, via text: "Could be andy's year, surely back to back wins over djokovic and fed on hard courts will send a message that will be important come the us open."


    Sunday Times correspondent Barry Flatman on Twitter: "No blazing sun in Dubai today, quite breezy and distinctly cooler. Almost Dunblane-ish in fact & perfect for @andy_murray."

  42. 1457: 

    Murray and Djokovic both admitted last night that they had not been at their best during the semi-final, and Murray had a real wobble when he was broken when serving for the match the first time, but for the most part his serve was a real weapon. Murray began the week down at 75th on tour for first-serve percentage (60%) but he made 73% against Djokovic, and will be looking for something similar against Federer.


    David via text: "The weakest part of Murray's game in the past has been his serve. If he can serve at the level we saw against Djokovic he can win this in straight sets but if he dips back to "normal" levels then Federer, in his best form for a couple of years, will demolish Murray."


    Fraser Marnie on Twitter: "I'm looking forward to seeing Andy (hopefully!) give The Fed a real stuffing here. He has to follow up that victory over Novak." #BBCTennis

  45. 1450: 

    Federer on Murray: "It's nice he had a breakthrough win [against Djokovic in the semis]. He played great and I expect a really difficult match in the final. He has a winning record against me, but we've played each other so many times we know each other's games well. I'm just excited playing against him again after such a long time. Andy is an amazing player, and so far he's proved that this year."


    Murray's former coach Brad Gilbert on Twitter: "Got to be honest-don't have a great feel for this match-too tough with Dubai's quick court - but Muzzard has a way better shot: nongrandslam."

  47. 1445: 

    Murray on beating Djokovic: "I've had a lot of tough losses in my career, to come back from them hasn't always been that easy. I think it's big for me that after Australia this year I've come back and had a win like tonight. Hopefully that will set me up well for the year. Confidence in tennis and almost any individual sport is so important. A win like tonight will do that no harm; therefore, mentally I'm sure I'll be stronger."


    Claire Knighton on Twitter: "Sat here in my "this girl loves federer" t-shirt, hoping the swiss genius will win through." #bbctennis

  49. 1440: 

    Murray leads the head-to-head against Federer 8-6 and has won their last two meetings in finals (Shanghai and Toronto in 2010). Strangely, the pair did not meet at all in 2011 and their last encounter came in the round-robin stage of the 2010 ATP World Tour Finals in London. Federer won handily that day, as he did in their only two Grand Slam clashes in the finals of the 2010 US Open and the 2008 Australian Open. The Swiss still holds the edge in the big ones, basically.

  50. 1435: 

    The final will begin at 1500 GMT but excitement got the better of us here in Salford and we just couldn't wait. It gives you plenty of time to tell me who will win, how, and what tonight's lottery numbers will be, so send a tweet using the hashtag #bbctennis or text 81111 (if you're in the UK).

  51. 1430: 

    Good afternoon. We are gathered here today to see if Andy Murray can follow up Friday's win over world number one Novak Djokovic by beating 16-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer in the Dubai final. It might not be a Grand Slam, but it could be a very significant week as the British number one looks to confirm he will be a threat for the major titles in 2012.

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