Second seed Roger Federer breezed into the semi-finals with a perfect 3-0 record following an imperious performance against Andy Murray at the ATP World Tour Finals in London’s O2 rena.
Home favourite and fifth seed Murray managed just a game, as the Swiss close out a 6-0 6-1 victory in 56 minutes to finalise Group B qualifiers on Thursday. The win moves the 17-time Grand Slam champion ahead of the Briton 12-11 in their career head-to-head series spanning nine years.
Federer said: “For me, things went very well. I was able to put Andy under pressure very often, and I think the match couldn’t have gone any better for me really.”
He is joined in the pool by Japan’s Kei Nishikori, who defeated stand-in David Ferrer earlier in the day.
The defeat was Murray’s joint worst at tour-level. He was beaten 6-1, 6-0 by Novak Djokovic in the 2007 Miami Open semi-finals. He ends his 2014 campaign with a 59-20 win-loss record, with three titles in the final six weeks of the regular season to show for it.
“He played exceptionally well,” Murray, 27, admitted. “I can say I’m disappointed with my level tonight. But if I played well, he probably still would have won anyway.
“He was striking the ball very, very clean. Made very few mistakes. Was hitting the ball off the middle of the racquet on serve, returns.
“It’s not a nice way to finish the year. So obviously in that respect I know I’m going to have to put in a lot of work on the tennis court, a lot of work in on my game. If I want to start the season, you know, with an opportunity to win in Australia, I’m going to have to put in a lot of work, that’s for sure.”
Federer’s biggest win at the season-ending tournament came in Shanghai n 2005, when he defeated Gaston Gaudio 6-0 6-0. The 33-year-old has a World Tour-best of 71-11 win-loss match record this season, including five titles from 10 finals.
“I think if there’s a slight difference of the level from the baseline, hard to get out of it. We’ve seen it all week. The serve doesn’t have that much impact. I didn’t even necessarily serve so well,” Federer, who will be hoping top seed Novak Djokovic drop a set against Marin Tomas Berdych on Friday to retain hopes in the race for the year-end No. 1 ranking, explained. “But you got to play the right way here, use the court to your advantage as much as you can.”