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Roger Federer has no plans to hang up his racquet and retire from tennis.

The 16-time grand slam champion and world number one has dismissed speculation he will step away from the sport following the London 2012 Olympic Games.

"People think I'm going to retire at the 2012 Olympics - which is not true," the 28-year-old told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"Even though you never know, it depends on your body, I would like to play beyond that so we'll see how it goes."

Federer will begin the defence of his French Open title at Roland Garros later this month and insists his hunger to add to his 62 career titles remains and he is yet to even contemplate retirement.

The Swiss added: "I don't have a problem saying this is the second half of my career because I do have kids and a lot of things have changed around me.

"It's a lot of fun right now and I obviously want to do this as long as possible.

"The moment you start questioning yourself and asking 'how am I going to go out of this sport?' - well it's never crossed my mind.

"It's just not something I'm even in the mood to think about."


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Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal both secured quarter-final berths at the Madrid Open on Thursday, while the women's event managed to stop losing seeds at long last.

World number one and reigning champion Federer was far too good for his Swiss compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka, defeating his Olympic gold-medal winning doubles partner 6-3 6-1 in just over an hour at La Caja Magica.

Despite the one-sided scoreline, however, Federer insisted it was not a comfortable victory in what was only his fifth meeting in five years against his countryman.

"I'm very happy," said Federer.

"It's never easy to play against Stan, nor against any other Swiss player.

"I think that it's tough for the Swiss because in our country we are not so used to playing each other as the Spanish, the French or Americans.

"They play against their countrymen every two weeks, but two Swiss players will meet one or twice a year, nothing more."

Federer's opponent in the last eight is Latvian Ernests Gulbis, who knocked out local boy Feliciano Lopez 6-2 7-6 (7/0)

Second seed Nadal was another convincing winner after seeing off giant American John Isner earlier in the day.

Nadal, the world number three who was runner-up to Federer here last year, did not face a single break point en route to defeating the 6ft 9in Isner 7-5 6-4.

Nadal said: "It was a very dangerous and difficult match and I played well, and when I had chances with the return I took them.

"For me it was a very important victory."

The Mallorcan will now meet French 12th seed Gael Monfils, who defeated another Spaniard, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, 7-6 (7/5) 6-4.

Andy Murray, who beat Victor Hanescu 6-2 6-1, will now face ninth-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer, who swept aside eighth seed Marin Cilic 6-3 6-2.

Ferrer's countryman Fernando Verdasco was not so successful, however, as the sixth seed tumbled out at the hands of Austrian Jurgen Melzer.

In a tie featuring nine breaks of serve, Verdasco, who received lengthy treatment on an ankle problem at the end of the first set, lost 7-5 6-3 to Melzer.

The Madrid-born Verdasco refused to blame his injury on the defeat, saying: "That isn't the only reason for having lost, I think many other factors played into it.

"I think he deserved to win more than I did, he played better than me."

Melzer will now play another Spaniard in the form of Nicolas Almagro.

Almagro followed up his shock win over fourth seed Robin Soderling in the second round with a 6-4 6-1 defeat of Argentinian Juan Monaco.

In the women's event, it finally proved to be a good day for the seeds.

With world number one Serena Williams being knocked out in the third round yesterday, the women's competition was left with only five of the 16 seeds still standing - with number four Venus Williams the only surviving member of the top six.

However, three of the four seeds playing their third round matches today picked up wins.

Seventh seed Jelena Jankovic cruised past Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-2 6-0, while number eight Samantha Stosur defeated veteran Swiss Patty Schnyder 7-6 (7/3) 6-2 to set up a quarter-final meeting with Venus Williams.

Also, 13th seed Li Na, the Chinese number one who is donating all her prize money from Madrid to the relief effort following the recent earthquakes in her home country, beat Alona Bondarenko 6-3 6-4.

Li's quarter-final opponent will be Shahar Peer, who defeated Arantxa Parra Santonja 7-5 6-2.

The only seed to fall today was number eight Nadia Petkovic, who could not follow up her win over Serena Williams as she slumped to a 6-4 7-6 (8/6) loss to Aravane Rezai, who now plays Jankovic.


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Andy Murray was in positive mood after making a winning start to the Madrid Open tonight, declaring after his straight-sets victory over Juan Ignacio Chela: "That's the best I've hit the ball in a long time."

Murray, having received a first-round bye, comfortably negotiated his opening match against Chela 6-3 6-3 to set up a third-round clash with Victor Hanescu of Romania tomorrow afternoon.

The world number four has struggled for form since reaching the Australian Open final at the start of the year and he had won just one match in his previous three tournaments in Miami, Monte Carlo and Rome.

However, Murray gained encouragement from his performance in Rome, where he beat Andreas Seppi in his first match before losing to David Ferrer, and the Scot felt he had built on that with his victory over Chela.

"I thought it was good, best I've hit the ball in a long time," he told Sky Sports 1.

"It was good, better than last week (in Rome) and that's all I'm looking to do just now, improve every week and start playing better.

"I definitely hit the ball very clean today, hit a lot of winners and dictated most of the rallies, so it was good.

"If I play well in the next one then I'll be happy.

"I want to get back to feeling good on the court, feeling comfortable, going for my shots and moving like I did today.

"If I do that I'll start to go deep into tournaments again. I just want to enjoy playing."

Regarding his opponent Chela, Murray said of the 30-year-old Argentinian: "He's a very good claycourt player and he won a tournament on clay a few weeks ago in Houston, and he's probably going to be back in the top 50 in the world. So a good win for me on clay, the result was pretty convincing."

Murray could hardly have had a better start on the red clay of La Caja Magica as a mixture of booming forehands, well-placed backhands and delicate drop shots saw him lose just one point in winning the opening three games against Chela - including two service breaks.

"You want to get off to a good start in all the matches and it definitely helped. It was the perfect start," said the Scot.

Murray then lost his way slightly, winning just three points in the next two games as Chela hit back to 3-2.

However, the 22-year-old quickly stopped Chela's attempted fightback by holding his next two service games to love and then breaking Chela for the third time in the 10th game to take the set.

Chela then gave Murray a brief scare by immediately breaking at the start of the second set.

That was not to prove costly though, as the British number one broke back straight away before claiming a second decisive break in the sixth game to go 4-2 ahead.

Murray, who won the Madrid title in 2008 when it was played on hard court, missed three match points on the Chela serve, but he completed the victory in the following game with few problems.

Next up for Murray is a meeting with Hanescu, who defeated qualifier Daniel Munoz-De La Nava 6-0 4-6 6-3 earlier.

Munoz-De La Nava had previously knocked out 14th-seed Sam Querrey in the first round.

Murray said of his next opponent: "I've only played him once before in Monte Carlo last year and played very well against him, but he's a tricky player.

"He's a big guy, I think he's 6ft 7in. He doesn't serve huge for his height but his serve gets up high and the altitude will help him. I need to get him moving, that's what you need to do against guys that are that big."


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Home favourite Rafael Nadal booked his spot in the third round of the Madrid Open this afternoon with victory over Ukrainian qualifier Oleksandr Dolgopolov.

Nadal, with Real Madrid players past and present in Cristiano Ronaldo, Raul and Zinedine Zidane watching on courtside, did not have it easy against his 21-year-old opponent but progressed through 6-4 6-3.

The world number three, seeded two in the Spanish capital, will now face giant American John Isner, who had a real battle before getting past Colombian qualifier Santiago Giraldo.

The 6ft 9in Isner, the 13th seed, was swept aside in the first set by Giraldo but bounced back to win 1-6 7-6 (8/6) 6-3.

Earlier in the day, three men's seeds waved farewell to the competition with number five Andy Roddick, number 10 Mikhail Youzhny and number 16 Thomaz Bellucci the men to go.

Youzhny lost 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 to Ernests Gulbis, Bellucci was beaten 6-2 6-2 by Juan Monaco while Roddick withdrew just prior to his match with Feliciano Lopez due to illness.

Roddick, who managed to play his opening doubles match yesterday but lost a lengthy contest, said today: "I got here, and then on Sunday night through Monday evening I was up with a stomach virus. I was up for 24 hours vomiting, sweating, the whole deal."

The 27-year-old, who had not played since winning his second title of the year in Miami back in April, admits the timing could hardly have been worse with the French Open coming up later this month.

"It's very bad timing. I would've taken this virus any time in the last five weeks instead of now, but I guess that's the way it goes sometimes," he said.

Regarding his plans ahead of Roland Garros, the 2003 US Open winner and last year's Wimbledon runner-up said: "All this has just happened in the last hour and I don't know what's going to happen.

"A lot of things depend on how long this thing lasts. This is obviously far from perfect as far as preparation heading into Paris, but you have to play the hand you're dealt. Playing well in Paris isn't totally out of the question, it's just going to be a little tough."

Roddick had his best-ever French Open last year when he reached the fourth round.

Oscar Hernandez, who lost to Christophe Rochus in the final qualifying round, took Roddick's place against Lopez but he made little impact against his fellow Spaniard, losing 6-1 6-2.

In other second-round matches, 15th seed Stanislas Wawrinka set up a third-round showdown with world number one and Swiss compatriot Roger Federer after getting past Leonardo Mayer, who was trailing 6-4 4-2 when he retired.

Wawrinka and Federer teamed up to win the 2008 Olympic doubles title in Beijing.

Eighth seed Marin Cilic had few problems in seeing off Eduardo Schwank 6-3 6-0 while 12th seed Gael Monfils booked his spot in the third round when German opponent Philipp Petzschner retired with the scores at 1-1 in the first set.

Also, Victor Hanescu defeated qualifier Daniel Munoz-De La Nava 6-0 4-6 6-3. Hanescu awaits the winner of tonight's match between third seed Andy Murray and Juan Ignacio Chela.

In the women's event, seventh seed Jelena Jankovic defeated fellow Serbian Ana Ivanovic 4-6 6-4 6-1 to progress through to the third round and she was joined by Arantxa Parra Santanja, who also recovered from a set down to beat fellow wildcard Shuai Peng 1-6 7-6 (7/1) 6-3.


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Belgium's Kim Clijsters has withdrawn from the French Open due to an ankle injury.

A CT scan revealed the injury was healing, but fluid is still building up around her ankle and she has opted to miss the second grand slam of the year and end her clay court season.

Clijsters, who reached the French Open final in 2001 and 2003, said on her official website, "I will continue my recovery to be totally up for the season on grass.

"It's really a shame to give up on Roland Garros. Paris is so close I always feel a little at home. And that's where I played my first grand slam final.

"But the foot pain forces me to throw in the towel."

The French Open takes place at Roland Garros from May 23 to June 6.

Clijsters will play at Eastbourne, beginning on June 14, in preparation for Wimbledon.


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Andy Murray has warned David Ferrer he feels in much better shape heading into Friday night's Madrid Open quarter-final showdown.

The Spaniard ended Murray's tournament in Rome a fortnight ago with a 6-3 6-4 third-round victory before going on to reach the final, where he lost to compatriot Rafael Nadal.

That defeat left Murray with just one win in three tournaments heading into this week's Madrid Open, but the world number four has picked up back-to-back victories in the Spanish capital after defeating Juan Ignacio Chela and Victor Hanescu in his first two matches.

Thursday night's 6-2 6-1 drubbing of Romanian giant Hanescu earned Murray a return match with ninth-seed Ferrer and although the Scot feels he did not do too badly against the 28-year-old in Rome, he believes he will prove a much tougher opponent this evening.

"I've played three more matches than I had then and even though it sounded comfortable for him the other week, if you look at the chances I had there were so many 30-30 points, 0-30 games when I was up on his serve that I didn't win," said Murray.

"And the game where I was broken in the second set I was 40-15 up and had an easy smash on top of the net which I didn't put away and a lot of those things come from playing more matches, so I think I'm definitely in a better position now.

"Return of serves is normally the strongest part of my game, and I should be looking to break him this time."

Murray is not getting over-confident, however, and he knows how dangerous Ferrer can be on his favoured clay surface.

If the world number 12 reaches the final in Madrid it will be his fourth title match on clay this season, having won in Acapulco and finished runner-up in Buenos Aires and in Rome.

"He's a very, very good player, he's been around the top of the game a long time. I know it's going to be difficult but I definitely feel I've got a good chance to win it if I play well, whereas a couple of weeks ago that may not have been the case," said the third-seed Murray, who turns 23 on Saturday.

Ferrer admits he is also expecting a different Murray to the one he faced in Italy, saying: "It will be difficult. He is a great player, who is playing very well. He is not going to be the player here as in Rome, he is going to be better and more difficult to play."

If Murray gets past Ferrer in Friday night's last scheduled match, then he could face world number one and reigning champion Roger Federer in the semi-finals.

Swiss star Federer meets Latvian Ernests Gulbis in his quarter-final on Friday evening.


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Andy Murray cruised into the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open with a one-sided victory over Romanian Victor Hanescu.

Murray started his tournament with a convincing second-round win over Juan Ignacio Chela and was even more impressive as he downed his giant opponent 6-2 6-1 in one hour and nine minutes.

Murray will now meet David Ferrer in the last eight.

The triumph for Murray is the first time since Indian Wells in March that the Scot has won back-to-back matches.

There was little doubt who would end up victorious once Murray took total control of the match against his error-prone opponent midway through the first set at La Caja Magica.

The 22-year-old enjoyed a flying start against Chela as he dropped just one point in his first three games to take a 3-0 lead with two breaks, and he was off the mark quickly again here.

Having held his opening game, Murray established a 0-30 lead on Hanescu's serve.

However, the 6ft 6in Romanian hit back to win that game and then fashioned two break points on the next Murray serve to hint at a potentially tough evening for the third seed.

Murray, though, managed to save both of those though before establishing a 2-1 lead.

After that it was virtually all one-way traffic with Murray winning four of the next five games to take the first set.

Hanescu fought hard to hold his serve in the fourth game, but then Murray held to love before breaking his opponent in the following game.

Murray then comfortably claimed the seventh game before breaking Hanescu for a second time, winning the set when the Romanian fluffed a backhand shot down the line.

That was Hanescu's 17th unforced error in the first set, compared to just four from Murray.

Murray's dominance continued through into the second set as he held serve and then immediately broke his struggling opponent to go 2-0 up.

The next three games went with serve to leave Murray 4-1 ahead, and he ensured there would be no way back for Hanescu as he broke the 28-year-old in the sixth game after creating three break points.

Murray then held his serve to complete the win, Hanescu ending the match with yet another unforced error - his 31st of the match, which was 23 more than the British number one made.



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ATP Los Angeles 29.07.10

The SPANICH Feliciano Lopez, seeded four, beat Israeli Dudi Sela 7-6 (7 / 2), 6-4, in the second round of the tournament in Los Angeles.

Querrey fate Anderson

ATP Los Angeles, 2nd round: Sam Querrey (USA/N.2) beat Kevin Anderson (RSA) 7-6 (10 / 8), 4-6, 6-0.

ATP Los Angeles, 2nd round: Marcos Baghdatis (CYP 3) beat Ryan Sweeting (USA) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Rainer Schuettler (GER) beat Robby Ginepri (USA) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4

Janko Tipsarevic (SRB/N.6) beat Somdev Devvarman (IND) 7-6 (11 / 9), 6-2

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ATP Gstaad

Russian Mikhail Youzhny, seeded No. 1, advanced to the quarterfinals of the Gstaad tournament by beating Switzerland's Alexander Sadecky (7-5, 6-4).

Chardy in quarter

The French Jeremy Chardy has qualified for the quarter-finals of Gstaad, in straight sets, beating Finland's Jarkko Nieminen 7-5, 6-2.

Gasquet fate Brands

Gasquet ended up go crazy Brands, the German had pushed Tsonga in 5 sets at Roland Garros in Gstaad (6-7, 6-3, 6-0). His next opponent Albert Montanes.

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Andy Murray's run in the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris ended on Friday night as he fell to a quarter-final defeat to home favourite Gael Monfils.

The British number one and number three seed recovered from an out-of-sorts showing in the opening set to take the match the distance, but was undone by his opponent who went on to take a 6-2 2-6 6-3 win.

Monfils will now face Roger Federer in the semi-finals, while Murray will return to England to prepare for the World Tour Finals in London which start next weekend.

Murray, who had no strapping to support the wrist injury he has been struggling with, served out to love in the opening game of the match but was broken the next time he served, with Monfils displaying unerring accuracy to cement the break.

The Scot stayed with him briefly before being broken again. He thought he had staved off the break when he successfully challenged a call, but Monfils was soon breaking through his defences again to take the set 6-2.

The roles were reversed in the second set, as Murray found some rhythm with his serve and applied enough pressure on Monfils to earn three break points in the sixth game, taking the second of them at the net.

Monfils had a point to break back in the next game but Murray won three quick points to cement the break, before winning the set 6-2 with another break as Monfils sent a weak forehand into the net.

Murray started the deciding set by serving to love and the Frenchman prevailed in a lengthy rally in the second game as both players hunted a crucial error, and, after a further hold apiece, it was Murray that blinked first.

He had already saved two break points but, when a double fault at deuce was followed by an errant forehand, Monfils had the advantage.

Some powerful serving allowed him to confirm the break and he saw the match out with another break, teed up by a delicious looping forehand down the line.

Afterwards, Monfils said that his aggressive approach had given him the advantage.

He told Sky Sports 4: "I was very aggressive from the start and did that for all the match.

"I was more aggressive than Andy today, it was a good tactic.

"I will try and find a solution to beat Roger. I'm down five or six matches to him and hopefully it will be the first time I beat him.

"I'm in Paris and I will try my best to make him run and make it tough."

For his part Murray, who admitted to feeling off-colour, accepted that he had not been at his best.

He said: "I just tried to keep the points shortish.

"It worked in the middle set but didn't really work in the third set as well.

"Obviously the atmosphere is great and you can lift your game a little bit.

"I wasn't feeling perfect going into the match and it can lift you. We had some good points. They support their home player very, very well here."


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Roger Federer's hopes of reaching his first Paris Masters final were ended by the racquet of local favourite Gael Monfils, who saved five match points in the process.

Playing in his first semi-final at the event, the top seed fought out an enthralling contest with Monfils which required three tie-breaks to settle matters.

But it was the Frenchman who eventually prevailed after two hours and 41 minutes on court, winning 7-6 (9/7) 6-7 (1/7) 7-6 (7/4).

There was little to choose between the two until the end of the second set when, needing to level things to stay in the match, Federer raised his game to run away with the tie-break and take the clash into a decider.

The Swiss then opened up a 4-1 lead in the third set and looked to be on course for a place in the final, but Monfils battled his way back into the contest before saving five match points in game 12 to set up another tie-break.

And Federer had nothing left to give against the 12th seed, who will now face Robin Soderling in Sunday's final.

The fourth-seeded Swede was also pushed to the limit by Michael Llodra in his semi-final, saving three match points to see off his French opponent 6-7 (0/7) 7-5 7-6 (8/6).


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Fernando Verdasco saw his Paris Masters challenge ended on Thursday, along with his hopes of qualifying for the upcoming ATP Tour World Finals.

The Spanish sixth seed edged a closely fought opening set in his third-round match against Gael Monfils, but the Frenchman came back to seal a 6-7 (4/7) 7-6 (7/2) 7-5 victory.

Defeat for Verdasco means he cannot improve on his current ninth place in the world rankings, allowing Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer and Andy Roddick to all qualify for the season-ending event at London's O2 Arena later this month.

Only the top eight players can reach the finals, which will take place between November 21 and 28.

Roddick progressed to the quarter-finals in Paris with a 6-3 7-6 (10/8) win over Latvia's Ernests Gulbis earlier in the day.

The American, who is eighth in the rankings, will be relieved to have secured his place at the World Finals after an inconsistent season.

"It's a goal at the beginning of every year," said Roddick. "It's certainly an accomplishment every year.

"I think it's an honour to qualify once, and then each time I think you kind of realise how tough it actually is."

Ferrer was unable to build on the news of his top-eight finish as he fell to a 7-6 (8/6) 2-6 6-3 defeat at the hands of Austrian 11th seed Jurgen Melzer.

Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Robin Soderling had already qualified for the season-ending showdown.


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Robin Soderling cruised to his first Masters 1000 title as he made light work off seeing off home favourite Gael Monfils to win the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris.

The Swedish world number five ran out a 6-1 7-6 (7/1) victor over Monfils, who was clearly feeling the effects of his hard-fought semi-final win over Roger Federer.

Soderling, who will now travel to London for the season-ending World Tour Finals, got on top of Monfils' serve early on and eased to a comfortable first-set win inside 27 minutes.

Monfils looked more assured in the second set, especially as Soderling's normally reliant first serve eluded him slightly, and the set edged into a tie-break.

As in the first set, though, Soderling was able to dominate his opponent and cantered to a 7-1 win to pick up the £380,000 prize.

"It feels great," Soderling said afterwards. "I don't have a very good record in finals, especially here in Paris.

"I lost two finals at Roland Garros. Of course, it's great to reach the final in a grand slam and also in a Masters 1000, but I think a final is one match you really want to win.

"I'm really happy that I played well, and now I'm here winning the title.

"When I won that last point, I just felt so happy and I felt so relieved. I wanted to win so much."

Monfils admitted his three-set epic with Federer had robbed him of some of his energy reserves.

He said: "Yesterday I used up a lot of energy, and today I wasn't able to find the extra stamina that I would have needed to be more competitive."


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At the end of the most up-and-down season in Andy Murray's career it is perhaps not surprising he is playing down his chances of beating a player he has not lost a set to since January.

The fact his opponent in his second round-robin match at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London is Roger Federer also explains the British number one's caution.

The pair's rivalry stretches back five years to Murray's first appearance in an ATP Tour final in Bangkok. The Scot can boast a winning record over that time but the bigger the occasion, the more Federer rises to it.

Murray's two grand slam finals, both against Federer in New York in 2008 and Melbourne this year, have been chastening experiences while their meeting at the same stage of last year's tournament at London's O2 Arena also went the way of the Swiss.

Recent results have been more encouraging, though, with Murray claiming straight-sets wins over Federer in Masters Series finals in Toronto and Shanghai during the last three months.

The 23-year-old said: "Every time you play against him it's tough. It's obviously good to win against him. But in tennis every match is completely different. It's a new day. I played great (yesterday), I could play horrible on Tuesday.

"So I need to make sure I practice well to give myself the best chance to play well. If I do that, I'll have a chance of winning."

Murray could not have had a better start to his campaign at the end-of-season eight-man event as he raced to a 6-2 6-4 victory over Robin Soderling, who was the form player going into the tournament and last week overtook Murray to become the new world number four.

After a sublime first set, the Scot relied more on his renowned defensive skills in a tighter second set to post a first win over the Swede since 2006.

Critics of Murray tend to focus on his perceived reluctance to take the initiative in points but he insisted it is a case of having a gameplan to suit every occasion.

"When I played Roger and Rafa (Nadal) the last few times, I played very aggressive tennis," he said. "That's what you need to do against them. Against some guys, you need to defend more.

"If you play against a guy that serves 140 miles an hour on the first serve, you can't attack. So you need to balance it depending on the opponent, depending on the match, the stage of the match.

"I think I've improved that side of my game. I've worked on serve-volleying in some matches the last few weeks. I think I've attacked a lot better towards the end of this year than I was at the beginning."

The crushing nature of Murray's win, coupled with Federer's 6-1 6-4 victory over David Ferrer in the other Group B clash on Sunday night, have already made the pair hot favourites to reach the last four.

The home hope knows only too well how important the scoreline can be after missing out on a semi-final spot last year to Juan Martin Del Potro by one game. A victory over Federer is his main priority now, though, however it comes.

He added: "The most important thing is to win the matches. I need to try and win the next match. Last year I was unlucky. It came down to one game or something. I'd be surprised if that happens again or if it's ever that close again.

"I was obviously happy to win in straight sets. But I wasn't thinking about what happened last year. In the next match, I certainly won't be thinking about last year either. I'll just try and get another win."


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Rafael Nadal shrugged off early rustiness to record his first victory at London's O2 Arena on Monday night and bring the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals bursting into life.

The world number one had not played for five weeks and it showed early on in his Group A encounter with Andy Roddick, but Nadal recovered impressively to record a 3-6 7-6 (7/5) 6-4 victory.

After three one-sided matches, it was just what the tournament needed, and the Spaniard was happy to oblige.

"Finally I won a match," he said. "I started the match a little bit nervously. His serve is always so difficult but I started to play a bit better and this is a very important victory for me."

The London tournament was not a happy experience for Nadal last year as, after a season dogged by injury, he failed to win a set in his three round-robin matches and left the O2 looking short on confidence and belief.

This season, of course, has seen the Spaniard hit the greatest heights of his career, with three grand slam triumphs, including a first title at the US Open.

The Tour Finals is the only major title so far to elude Nadal, and he admitted on Friday that winning it would be harder for him than winning a slam because of the indoor surface it is played on, which does not suit his game.

The court is playing slower this year, giving the world number one more of a chance, but it was his serve that let him down early on as two double faults handed Roddick an immediate break.

The American is famed for his serve, and he needed all of its power as he survived four break points to hold on to his advantage and take the first set.

Nadal was certainly playing better than last year and looked eager and aggressive, but he found himself facing more break points at 1-1 in the second set when Roddick came up with a superb sequence of shots to out-rally the master.

The American sensed his chance and he took it as Nadal chose a surprising moment to come to the net. But Roddick let his opponent off the hook straight away with a poor game, allowing Nadal to level.

And that was the way it stayed all the way through to the first tie-break of this year's singles tournament.

Four points in a row for the world number one from 3-2 down proved the key and he duly levelled when Roddick netted a forehand on the third set point.

The errors of the first set were gone from the Nadal racquet and he ramped up the pressure at 2-2 in the decider, setting up two break points and then taking the first with a super pass.

Roddick had won their last encounter on his way to the Masters title in Miami in the spring but this was Nadal's night and he made no mistake, serving out for victory.

Earlier in the day Novak Djokovic turned the tables on Tomas Berdych with a comfortable 6-3 6-3 victory in the opening Group A match at the O2 Arena.

The last time this pair met in the capital was in the Wimbledon semi-finals this summer, when Berdych eased to a straight-sets triumph before losing to Rafael Nadal in his first grand slam final.

That was the only time in four previous meetings that the Czech has got the better of Djokovic, though, and his form since Wimbledon has been indifferent.

What Berdych needed was a good start but instead he made the worst possible one by conceding a break in the first game.

Djokovic had four more chances in an epic third game but this time his opponent, who is the only debutant among the eight finalists, just about held on.

Berdych was not helping himself with a woeful display of serving and it was not until he had cut out the double faults and found some first serves that he began to at least find a foothold in the match.

The odd bright spot aside, it was not the sort of tennis the decent-sized crowd had come to see and the biggest cheer was for Argentinian football legend Diego Maradona, back at the O2 for a second successive day.

Another error-strewn game from Berdych handed Djokovic two set points, and he duly converted on the first.

In contrast to his opponent, the Serb, who has enjoyed an impressive autumn, appeared to be in good touch, particularly on his forays to the net.

Djokovic, the 2008 champion, made it four games in a row by breaking again in Berdych's first service game of the second set and, although the 25-year-old did eventually stop the rot, it was far too late to change the outcome.

Like Andy Murray, Djokovic missed out on the semi-finals last year despite two round-robin victories, so a dominant win was just what he was hoping for.

The third seed said: "I'm really happy that I had a straight-sets win in such a tough tournament where every match is important, every set you win is important.

"You have to be really on the top of your game in order to win against these players because they are the best players in the world."

The Serb, meanwhile, is hoping his famous fan can help propel him all the way to the final after revealing he and Maradona have been in touch for a number of years, although he had never met the World Cup winner until today.

He said: "Just to have him as a support is an incredible honour and pleasure. It's a big pleasure to meet him. He's going to stay throughout the whole tournament. Hopefully he can be my lucky charm."

For Berdych, there were different emotions, and he admitted the occasion had affected him. Asked if he had felt debut nerves, Berdych said: "If I said no, then I would be lying. In the beginning it affected my game a little bit.

"But the match could have been completely different. In the second game I had a pretty good chance maybe to get a break back. But it did not happen.

"It's something new for me. All those guys have played this kind of tournament at least once, so they already know how it is, and they know how to deal with that. But that's the experience you have to learn if you want to be a really top player."


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Andy Murray blamed a bad day at the office as his winning run against Roger Federer came to a shuddering halt at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.

Hopes were high the Scot could make it three wins in a row against the world number two following his thumping victory over Robin Soderling in the opening round-robin match at the O2 Arena.

But that optimism swiftly disappeared as an imperious Federer swept aside his rival to win 6-4 6-2 in only an hour and 17 minutes.

The statistics made difficult reading for Murray, who won only eight points on Federer's serve, did not earn a single break point and succeeded in getting his first serve in only 44% of the time.

The 23-year-old said: "I got off to a bad start in both sets, which doesn't help. I returned poorly, served poorly. Against him, that's not going to win you the match.

"I felt okay from the back of the court, not unbelievable, but there were quite a few good rallies. Normally I get myself into a lot more of them against him."

Murray carried a lot of confidence into the match, with the memories of his victories over Federer in Masters Series finals in Toronto and Shanghai still fresh while his performance against Soderling on Sunday, particularly in the first set, had been exemplary.

It quickly became clear this was not going to be one of his good days, though, as, after saving a break point in the first game, he was promptly broken to love in his next service game.

Murray's poor serving was a feature of the match but so were his uncharacteristic struggles on return, usually one of the strongest parts of his game.

Federer lost only three points on serve in taking the first set and at the start of the second things got even worse for Murray.

A lengthy first service game ended with Federer seizing an immediate advantage and, when the world number two floated a backhand return down the line for a second successive break, the match was all but over.

Murray, who will almost certainly need to beat David Ferrer on Thursday to stand any chance of reaching the semi-finals, at least avoided a dreaded bagel with two gutsy holds but it was all too little, too late.

The world number five had vowed to take the game to his opponent, and he insisted it was not his gameplan that was flawed but his execution of it.

"I didn't feel tight," he continued. "I tried to play quite aggressive. You're not going to hit winners every single time you go on the court. You're not going to play your best match every time. You're going to make a few more mistakes sometimes.

"Last time I played against him, it worked well. Today I made more mistakes than normal. When I went behind, I didn't put many returns in the court, I didn't put any pressure on his game. Therefore, the pressure obviously builds more onto you."

Federer, who is bidding for a fifth World Tour Finals title, admitted he had not expected to win so comfortably against an opponent who has caused him considerable problems in the past.

The 29-year-old said: "I'm surprised, I really am, that I was able to win my service games that comfortably. I heard I dropped eight points on my serve. That's not the norm against Andy, who is one of the best return players - if not the best - in the game right now.

"I don't think he played his best match. He came out and made some mistakes. Maybe it was due to my good play. From my side, I was obviously very happy. It was a good match. I played tough and solid from start to finish. That seemed to be enough today."


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France captain Guy Forget has named an unchanged team for the Davis Cup final against Serbia.

Forget named a squad of Gael Monfils, Gilles Simon, Michael Llodra, Arnaud Clement and Richard Gasquet for the tie on December 3 to 5, though that group will have to be cut down to four by December 2.

Gasquet did not feature in the semi-final against Argentina.

"I selected four players in Gael Monfils, Gilles Simon, Michael Llodra and Arnaud Clement, but I put Richard Gasquet in the group because for a meeting of this importance it seems essential to prepare five players," Forget told French sports daily L'Equipe.

In the semi-final, which France won 5-0, the opening singles rubbers were played by Monfils and Llodra, who teamed up with Clement for the doubles.

The dead-rubber singles were played by Simon and Clement.

In Serbia, France will be going for their 10th title and their first since 2001.

Serbia will be led by world number three Novak Djokovic.

Viktor Troicki, Janko Tipsarevic and Nenad Zimonjic have also been selected.


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Tomas Berdych recorded his first victory at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals with a 7-5 6-3 triumph over Andy Roddick that left the American's hopes of making the last four hanging by a thread.

Roddick, a three-time semi-finalist at the end-of-season showpiece, will be the first man eliminated if Novak Djokovic beats world number one Rafael Nadal this evening.

Roddick had been unlucky to lose to Nadal in his opening Group A match at London's O2 Arena on Monday while Wimbledon finalist Berdych put in a poor performance against Djokovic.

With two big servers, opportunities were always likely to be at a premium, and so it proved early on. Roddick looked the more comfortable, though, and in the 10th game he piled on the pressure to create two set points.

Berdych admitted after his loss to Djokovic that debut nerves had got to him but this time he rose to the occasion, winning four straight points to level at 5-5, with the final point coming courtesy of a brilliant volley.

The Czech has been in poor form since Wimbledon, with this victory only his ninth in almost five months, but holding his serve seemed to give him a welcome shot of confidence.

Suddenly his forehand was causing all sorts of problems for Roddick and it was a clean return winner that enabled Berdych to break through and then clinch the first set.

The momentum had shifted and now it was Roddick looking like the man under pressure, so it was no surprise when Berdych, who was now cracking winners almost at will, broke again in the fifth game of the second set.

Roddick, who had been complaining to the umpire about the changing colour of the advertising boards, let his frustration show, earning a code violation for smashing the ball into the crowd and then leaving his racquet in a mangled heap.

The eighth seed by now was a beaten man and a miserable afternoon was complete when he dumped a tame forehand into the net to hand Berdych another break and victory.

Roddick had beaten Berdych four times in a row going into today's match, including three times in 2010, and he was particularly annoyed he had let the Czech off the hook in the first set.

The 28-year-old said: "More so than anything, I don't think he came into the match with a lot of confidence. Being able to get through that definitely raised his confidence level. He played well in the second set."

Roddick was less aggressive than in his match against Nadal but he did not feel it was his tactics that were to blame for today's loss.

He continued: "I've beaten him three times this year, and six times overall, so I feel like I have a pretty good idea what to do. If you don't execute it, it makes most game plans look stupid."

Berdych highlighted the 10th game of the first set as the turning point, and he was particularly pleased to come through such a test after a difficult time in recent weeks.

The Czech said: "The last couple of weeks, I was in this position many times but not often was I able to get back, to do a couple of good serves, get to deuce, then win the game.

"That's the thing that's going to give you a lot of confidence. Then the next game I managed a quick break and that was the key to the match."

Of his first win at World Tour Finals, Berdych added: "It feels great. None of these matches are easy. I'm happy after my first match to get back on the court and start to play my tennis again and feel good on court. That's what I need."


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There was no shouting, no angry gestures, almost no emotion of any kind from Andy Murray in his thrashing by Roger Federer at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals - and that is the way he intends it to stay.

The Scot struggled to find his game from the start at the O2 Arena, missing the majority of first serves and returns as Federer cruised to a victory so comfortable it shocked even the world number two.

Far from being flat, though, as some pundits remarked, Murray revealed it was a pre-determined strategy to try to keep his emotions in check - something he has been criticised for not managing in the past.

The Scot, who is still in a decent position in Group B thanks to his win over Robin Soderling in the opening match, said: "If I went out there and I smashed the racquet or started shouting, I'd come in and everyone would say to me, 'You were in a bad mood today, mentally you weren't strong enough'.

"In the match against Soderling I was very quiet as well. I didn't really show much emotion on the court. I tried to do the same thing.

"To me I didn't feel flat on the court. It might look that way when you don't win the match. Maybe it's just very different to what you're used to seeing from me.

"But that's something that I'm trying to work on, to not let my emotions control how I'm playing. I just tried to stay calm, tried to find a way, and it didn't happen."

The opening three days of the tournament in many ways encapsulate Murray's season, with a superb performance against Soderling followed by a pretty abject one against Federer.

The world number two was having one of his days where he makes tennis look a ridiculously easy sport but that was partly down to Murray's failure to put any kind of pressure on him, the Scot winning only eight points on the Federer serve.

Murray admitted himself ahead of the tournament that he has been inconsistent this year but he is confident he is in good form ahead of his final round-robin match against David Ferrer tomorrow, providing he can sort out his serving and returning.

Reflecting on his fluctuating fortunes, he said: "It's disappointing. But it's a lot easier to judge things when you're up against the same player from one week to the next. It's a completely different match playing Roger than playing Soderling.

"I did say I have been inconsistent this year but I still feel like I'm hitting the ball fine from the back of the court. It was just serving and returning that needs to improve a lot before the next match."

The combination of results so far in Group B means all four players still have a chance to qualify for the semi-finals, although only a thrashing for Federer at the hands of Soderling tomorrow could deny the 29-year-old a last-four spot.

Murray will at least know what he needs to do when he takes to the court in the evening.

A win for Soderling would eliminate Ferrer and mean Murray must beat the Spaniard and then hope he has a better sets or games record - the criteria that saw him miss out last year.

Defeat for the Swede against Federer, meanwhile, would leave the home hope needing only to win a set against Ferrer to qualify for the semi-finals for the second time in his career.

Ferrer has yet to win a set at this year's tournament but the Spaniard is renowned for his dogged determination and Murray will be well aware of his talents having lost three of their four matches, including two this year.

His defeats have all come on clay, though, with the world number five claiming victory in their only previous meeting on hard courts, in Toronto in 2006.

Murray added: "It's a very tough match. He's a really tough player. He makes many, many balls and he's incredibly consistent.

"I'll have to try to use my weapons well. I have to serve well against him and get some free points. That will be the main thing I'm looking to improve."


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Defeat in front of a home crowd was not the way Andy Murray wanted to finish 2010 but, with his performance against Rafael Nadal at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, the British number one showed what a rare talent he really is.

For three hours and 11 minutes of pulsating tennis, Murray battled against the world number one, who declared afterwards it had needed one of the best performances of his life to triumph 7-6 (7/5) 3-6 7-6 (8/6).

This was the 23-year-old at his very finest, attacking Nadal with invention and courage, making the Spaniard at times look distinctly second best.

But, just when Murray had his opponent rocking at the start of the third set, he let him off the hook, and that was the one slight criticism that could be levelled at the Scot.

Afterwards Murray was composed, knowing he had let a chance slip away but knowing also that he had set a standard he must try to maintain in 2011.

The world number five - he will jump a place on Monday - has been consistently inconsistent this year, with his performances at London's O2 Arena this week another example.

He was brilliant against Robin Soderling in his first match, the opposite in a thrashing by Roger Federer, before recovering to beat David Ferrer easily.

Murray said of his display: "That's what you have to expect of yourself. You don't go into matches like that expecting anything less.

"I was obviously very disappointed with the way I played against Roger. This match is how I want to play all the time. I want to try and build on that for next year.

"It was a great match to finish the year. But I need to improve because I'm competing with the two best players of all time. So, if I want to win these tournaments, I want to win the grand slams, I need to get better."

Murray has been accused of being too passive when it comes to the biggest matches against the best players, but this was certainly not one of those days, as the 23-year-old pounded winners off both forehand and backhand.

There were questions afterwards asking if he had gone for too much, with a couple of return errors in the final tie-break costing him dearly, but Murray was sure he had got his game plan right.

"When you play against him, it's easy to say just put the return in the court," he said.

"If you just put the return in the court, you end up running side to side for the next eight shots. You need to try to get a little something on your return."

The match also seemed a crucial moment in Murray's relationship with the British public. He has never been a favourite in the same way Tim Henman was but yesterday the crowd roared him on, won over both by his stunning tennis and his sheer determination.

He said: "The support that I got on the court meant a lot. I didn't feel at any point like the crowd were putting any pressure on me. If anything, it was less pressure. They got right behind me, especially when I was down, when I came back into the match."

Murray and Nadal have always had a warm relationship, in contrast to the harder edge that characterises the Scot's matches with Federer, and the press conferences became something of a mutual appreciation society.

While Murray declared matches like yesterday's were the reason he played tennis, Nadal again talked up the Scot's chances of finally winning a grand slam.

"I am very happy to beat a great champion like Andy," said the 24-year-old.

"His level is unbelievable almost always. He's a very talented player because he can do everything.

"His serve at moments was unstoppable. His defence was unbelievable. He's very fast. He sees the ball very quick, before the rest of the players I think.

"Even if I lost that match, I would have come here and said I am very happy for everything because I think I played a very good match.

"If he plays like this, I don't have any doubt he is going to have big chances to win very important titles."