The latest chapter of the Roger Federer vs, Andy Murray rivalry will be written on Thursday evening at the O2 Arena in London, as the two top competitors cross paths for a 23rd time on the ATP World Tour. The head to head series is currently tied at 11-11, with Federer winning three of their last four meetings dating back to the semi-final round of the World Tour Finals in 2012. Much will be at stake in this coming encounter, as Murray looks to secure a semi-final berth, while Federer hopes to remain undefeated to add to his chances of reaching the year-end No. 1 ranking.
Six-time WTF champion Roger Federer lost only five games in his victory over Kei Nishikori. The second seed overwhelmed his Japanese opponent en route to a 6-3, 6-2 victory. He struck 11 winners, four aces and closed out the encounter in 69 minutes.
“There’s so much still at stake for me, wanting to beat a fellow rival and wanting to win the points that are at stake, go in with a clean sheet into the semis. I’m happy after two matches I’m standing here with two wins. It’s very positive.”
While he may not have enjoyed the brightest of starts to his World Tour Finals campaign this season, Andy Murray kept his hopes for a semi-final berth alive with a straight sets victory over Milos Raonic. The British No. 1, who is seeded fifth at the event, picked up his first win over the Canadian this season, and did so without even playing his best tennis.
The Scot exchanged breaks with Raonic early in the second set before he took command of the match to close it out 6-3, 7-5 with another late break of serve.
“I obviously played better tonight,” said Murray. “I hit the ball a lot cleaner than I did on Sunday from the beginning of the match. So that was pleasing.”
The British No. 1’s final round robin match-up will be contested against second seed Roger Federer, who leads Group B as the only undefeated player with a 2-0 record. Murray can secure the second spot but it is will all depend on his next match and that of Nishikori.
“It will be obviously a very difficult match [against Federer],” said Murray. “But it will be an exciting match. A good one to be part of. I hope I can play well. We’ve had some very good matches over the years. I hope on Thursday it will be the same.”
Of their previous 22 meetings on the tour, the series is dead even at 11 wins each. Both Federer and Murray will be motivated to pick up the victory for a variety of reasons beyond simple bragging rights. Given their current form, Federer should hold the advantage here, although Murray is more than capable of making it a tough encounter.
Prediction: Roger Federer in Three Sets