Cincinnati Preview – Andy Murray v Roger Federer

I previewed their match at Wimbledon and for the second time in a couple of months Roger Federer and Andy Murray will battle for a place in the semi-final with Federer the probably favourite with Murray looking very tired in the latter stages of his match against Gasquet.

Not only does the winner of this match go to the Cincinnati final but also will then be favourite to claim the second seed at the US Open. Murray is currently second however because of Murray’s win yesterday against Gasquet I do believe that Federer now has to win the tournament to win the second seed place so not only will have to beat Murray but also most likely Djokovic.

In their last meeting the match was dictated by the pace that Federer produces during rallies and was rushing and getting to the net giving Murray little chance to get into his rhythm. If Murray is going to beat Federer tonight then I believe he has to settle into the match quickly and try and find a way of dictating play. Murray has been very strong in baseline rallies off the backhand this week and has to find this form again making sure he gets great depth and is hitting the corner of the court, any shot that is short will be pounced on by Federer.

Murray looked very tired especially in the third set against Gasquet and had to fight very hard in the previous round against Dimitrov which I don’t Federer would let him back into the match at the score lines in the second and third set of that match the other night. For the first two sets of the match v Gasquet the Murray backhand was solid and pushing Gasquet behind the court and forcing errors. Murray was unlucky to lose the first set but in the third set I felt his backhand was less dangerous and seemed to lack power to trouble Gasquet but got the job done.

I do think Federer is the clear favourite for this match. Federer has spent less time on the court and Murray of course was playing in Montreal last week where Federer wasn’t playing so is obviously fresher for this tournament and I think we have seen in the last couple of matches of Novak’s and Andy’s both players look a little tired. Hopefully Murray does recover to be ready for the match and this could be the first time since 2009 Murray beats all of the top 3 in a calendar year…

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