Fed Express Derailed at Murray Lane

ZipCorrespondent IMarch 21, 2009

INDIAN WELLS, CA - MARCH 21:  Roger Federer of Switzerland walks to the net after losing his semifinal match to Andy Murray of Great Britain in the BNP Paribas Open on March 21, 2009 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Andy Murray defeated Roger Federer 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 in the semifinals at Indian Wells. This is the fourth straight win for Murray over Federer, an impressive streak against the former world No. 1.

The only other players on tour to match such a dominant effort vs. Federer are Rafael Nadal and David Nalbandian. The 2008 U.S. Open is the last time Murray lost to Federer.

Although losing is never the desired result, Murray has certainly benefited from that loss—getting his behind in gear and maturing as a player. 

Much of the credit should go to Murray, but Federer can still shoulder a good portion of the blame. He had a total of 32 unforced errors, 14 in the first set alone.

In the middle of the third set, after Murray took a spill at the baseline, it appeared as if Federer might make a charge. Instead, he lost three straight points off of his backhand giving Murray a demanding 4-1 lead. 

Ever since Federer lost to Nadal at Wimbledon, or maybe even his embarrassing loss at the French, he hasn't been the same player.

While Nadal saved five match points in his thrilling fourth round match against David Nalbandian, Federer doesn't have much saved up these days. 

When Nadal gets into a hole against a player, whether it is a relative unknown or a top-tier player, he never counts himself out. Federer, on the other hand, can't seem to find that extra gear against his most challenging opponents, i.e., Murray and Nadal.

Let's remember this is Federer's first tournament since his epic five-set loss to Nadal at the Aussie Open finals, so perhaps he is a bit rusty. Nevertheless, if Federer wants to claim the crown as "best ever" he has some issues to address when it comes to playing his arch rivals.

Enough about Federer though, let's turn to Murray for a second. He is playing some unbelievable tennis, racking up a 20-1 overall record for 2009. With his ticket already punched to the final, Murray can take a minute to relax. 

Most likely he will face current world No. 1 Rafael Nadal, but don't count out Andy Roddick, who has also been playing some great tennis.

Either way, Murray should be confident going into the final. He has already posted wins against both potential opponents en route to title victories at Doha and Rotterdam earlier this year.

No matter who turns up on the other side of the net, get ready for some superb shot making.