TENNIS : Roger Federer has expressed his sympathy for Andy Murray after the British number one was knocked out of the ATP World Tour Finals following one of the strangest evenings in tennis.
Roger Federer has expressed his sympathy for Andy Murray after the British number one was knocked out of the ATP World Tour Finals following one of the strangest evenings in tennis.
The British number one had left the O2 Arena on Thursday thinking a place in the last four of the tournament was all but assured after his 6-4 6-7 (4/7) 7-6 (7/3) victory over Fernando Verdasco. But Juan Martin del Potro beat Federer 6-2 6-7 (5/7) 6-3 in the evening match meaning that those two players had a better games percentage than Murray, Del Potro by just 0.5%.
Federer said: “Sure it’s confusing. It’s hard for Murray. I asked Juan Martin myself at the net, ‘Did you make it or not?’ He said, ‘I don’t think so.’ So that’s the story I got.”
He added: “Of course, you’ve got to feel sorry for the guy who didn’t make it. But at the same time, Del Potro beat the number one player in the world, in the group, and I guess also deserves to go through.
“There’s only two places, and that’s the way it is. It happens very, very rarely.”
The Scot looked safe at 3-3 in the decider, Federer needing only to win another game to eliminate Del Potro. And it looked even better when he engineered three break points on the Argentinian’s serve.
But amazingly those slipped away and the world number one was promptly broken before Del Potro served out victory with an ace.
The margins were so small that none of the three players, or the packed O2 Arena, knew the outcome and it took almost half an hour for the ATP to confirm Del Potro’s progress.
Murray had said on Twitter at the time: “Anyone know what’s going on?? I think I’m (out) but the rules aren’t worded too well.”