On October 18, 2008, Andy Murray defeated Roger Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the Madrid semifinal to advance to the second consecutive Masters 1000 final after Cincinnati. The Briton had lost the first four Masters 1000 semi-finals, and that changed at Cincinnati 2008 when he defeated Ivo Karlovic before beating Novak Djokovic for the first crown at that level.
Two months later, Andy secured a spot in another Masters 1000 final in Madrid, beating no. 2 and the 2006 champion and last year’s finalist Roger Federer. It was the fifth meeting between Murray and Federer, and the Briton achieved the third victory thanks to a better performance in the final stages, adding the last three games to advance to the title clash.
The youngster delivered fury on serve, hitting 14 aces and grabbing 85% of points on the first serve, fending off two out of three break opportunities to keep the pressure on Roger. The Swiss took advantage of that break in the first set and had to delve into his games, fending off seven of the nine break opportunities and failing to match the opponent’s numbers at the end.
Therefore, Roger missed the opportunity to reach the third consecutive final in Madrid and fight for the last indoor title at this event before switching to clay starting in 2009. Andy had more winners, fewer unforced errors and more forced errors, dominating Roger on short rallies and keeping in touch on longer rallies to seal the deal and stay on the title course.
It took 12 minutes to complete the first five games with a solid performance from the servers before Roger forced Andy’s error to forge a break opportunity at 3-2. Murray repelled it but could not do the same with the next one, adding a forehand error to suffer a break and push Roger 4-2 to the front.
Federer on his Wimbledon campaign
In an interview with Tribune de Geneve, Roger Federer was asked whether he took encouragement from his run at Wimbledon, given that he reached the quarterfinals despite being hampered physically.
“But when you’re aiming everything towards one tournament – as probably Rafa is at Roland Garros – it’s normal to put the problems aside and give it your all. In addition, you always hope for a miracle. There is always a small chance,” Federer explained.
The 40-year-old also highlighted the fact that he was hardly able to defend at all during his Wimbledon campaign owing to his injury. “In retrospect, I realized that I had won almost no point at Wimbledon when I had had to defend myself,” Federer pointed out.