August 15, 2010: Roger Federer loses a close Toronto final to Andy Murray


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August 15, 2010: Roger Federer loses a close Toronto final to Andy Murray

Only for the second time (Cincinnati 2009), Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have reached the semi-final of the Masters 1000 event in Toronto 2010 and it was Andy Murray who went all the way to clinch his 15th ATP title and the fifth Masters 1000, beating Rafael Nadal in the semis and Roger Federer in the final.

Andy became one of a few players who had beaten Roger and Rafa at the same event and also the first who managed to defend Canada Open since Andre Agassi in 1995. It was very hard to find the rhythm in the final with constant rain interruptions but Andy emerged as a winner following a 7-5 7-5 triumph in two hours and five minutes, claiming his seventh win over Roger in 12 matches and the first since Indian Wells 2009. The Briton struggled to find his first serve but Roger couldn't take advantage of that, creating four break points and stealing rival's serve three times.

Roger struggled a lot in his games, dropping more than 40% of the points and had to play against 10 break points, losing serve five times to end on the losing side and missing a chance to win his third crown in Toronto after 2004 and 2006.

Andy had 24 winners and 24 unforced errors and Roger stood on a negative 20-31 ratio, unable to impose his shots and take advantage in the rallies against the rival who played well during the entire week to lift his first trophy of the year.

The Briton broke at 15 in the very first game of the match after forcing an error from Roger and he held at 15 with a service winner in game two to confirm the lead. Federer was yet to find his shots and he gave his serve away again in game three following a backhand error, sending Murray 3-0 up and leaving himself with a lot of work to be done in the rest of the set if he wanted to get back into contention.

The Swiss started his comeback in game four when he broke Andy at love and a service winner in game five moved him closer to the Briton, with only one break to catch. A forehand winner pushed Murray 4-2 up but Roger was now in the zone in his games, reducing the deficit and hoping for another chance on the return before the end of the set.

It didn't come in game eight when Andy held after a backhand error from Roger who was now serving to stay in the opening set. He held at 30 in game nine and grabbed that precious break a few minutes later after a costly double fault from Murray who missed a great chance of taking the lead.

Roger squandered a game point in game 11 and he sprayed a forehand error to hand the break to his rival who had a chance to serve for the set again. Andy did everything right this time around, forcing a backhand mistake from Roger to clinch the opener 7-5 in 47 minutes.

Rain started to cause troubles at the beginning of the second set and Roger was the first who suffered from the lack of rhythm, sending a forehand long in game five to find himself a set and a break down. They had to go off from the court for almost an hour with Andy serving in game six and Federer pulled the break back when they returned, leveling the score at 3-3 and ready to fight until the very last point.

A forehand winner sent Roger 4-3 ahead but Murray made a good hold as well, firing a service winner to level the score and throw the pressure on Roger's side of the net. Federer stayed focused, closing the ninth game with a forehand drive volley winner but Andy was not to be denied, bringing the 10th game home with a service winner and preparing himself for the crucial return game.

Roger folded under the pressure this time and Murray broke him with a volley winner after a well-constructed attack that allowed him to serve for the title in the following game. Federer had a chance to prolong the set and possibly the match but he missed a clean forehand that could have given him two break points but he still had one chance to reach the tie break.

Andy saved it with an ace and he hit another one to earn a match point but he failed to convert it as his drop shot could not have passed the net. The second match point was the lucky one for Andy and he could have started a title celebration, the first since Valencia last year.

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