Roger Federer made his ATP Finals debut in 2002, winning the first round-robin match in the first five trips to the premium ATP event. That all changed in 2007 when Roger lost a thrilling encounter against Fernando Gonzalez, bouncing back and scoring four wins to defend the title.
A year later, the Swiss had to dig deep again after a slow start. He lost to Gilles Simon 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in two hours and eight minutes to put pressure on his shoulders. It was their second match of the season and the Frenchman's second victory after losing the opening set!
Federer was not at his best in 2008, losing the ATP throne to Rafael Nadal and winning "only" one Major crown at the US Open. He could not bring his A-game against the Frenchman in Shanghai, losing ground in the crucial moments and having no room for errors in the remaining two round-robin duels.
Roger prevailed against Radek Stepanek in the second encounter and set the must-winning clash against Andy Murray. It was all or nothing for Roger (Andy was already in the semi-final), and he could not bring himself together for the one last push.
Federer suffered a 4-6, 7-6, 7-5 loss in three hours and one minute to hit the exit door and finish the season with negative vibes. It was their sixth meeting and the fourth victory for Andy, dominating over Roger in their early encounters and beating him twice from a set down in 2008, like Simon.
Murray won seven points more, taming Federer's serves with ease and creating 18 break chances. The Briton converted six and prevailed in the closing stages of sets two and three to send Roger packing.
Andy Murray prevailed over Roger Federer at the 2008 ATP Finals.
Roger secured six breaks too, but it was not enough to carry him home.
He lost ground to Andy in the mid-range and most extended exchanges to finish his journey before the semi-final. The Swiss had more winners and unforced errors, and the Briton forged the advantage in the forced errors department, drawing almost 50 from Roger's racquet to score a win.
Federer broke at love in the encounter's fourth game to move in front before losing the advantage instantly after netting a backhand at 3-1. Murray saved break points in game eight to stay in touch before suffering a break at love at 4-5 to hand the opener to world no.
2. Shifting into a higher gear, Andy grabbed a double break to open a 5-2 gap in set number two. He wasted two set points in game eight and failed to serve for the set at 5-4. Overcoming a massive deficit, Roger was the favorite in the tie break.
Still, it was not to be for him, losing it 7-3 after Andy's service winner and starting all over in the decider. Giving his best, Federer came from 3-0 down and secured another break to rattle off four straight games and move closer to the finish line.
The Swiss had two chances to gain a 5-3 lead, squandering both and allowing the Briton to break back and level the score at 4-4. The tenth game saw 26 points, and it was the most thrilling one of the tournament! Federer fended off no less than seven match points to stay alive and prolong the battle.
Still, he had nothing more left in the tank, getting broken at 15 at 5-6 to propel Murray over the finish line and experience his worst ATP Finals result.