Posted by Barrie on Thursday, 26 November 2009

Del Potro Surprises Federer as Murray Eliminated

World number 5 Juan Martin Del Potro beat Roger Federer in three sets at the O2 Arena this evening, eliminating Andy Murray from the ATP World Tour Finals in the process.

The Argentine got the better of the early exchanges, using his powerful forehand to dominant effect, as Roger Federer miscued his backhands on a number of occasions as Del Potro broke the world number 1 twice in the opening set, taking it 6-2.

Roger Federer failed to break Del Potro's serve at any point during the match, but took the second set on a tie break after his opponent netted twice after taking a 5-4 lead on serve in the tie break.

Federer's place in the semi finals was confirmed early in the deciding set, after his 6-1 final set victories over both Fernando Verdasco and Andy Murray previously had given him a superior games won % difference in what turned out to be a deciding factor in the elimination of the home favourite.

Although momentum seemed to turn in Federer's favour as he won the second set, he failed to deal with the 6'6" US Champion's serve, and ultimately paid the price when he was broke on his own in the final set, setting up Del Potro to serve out the match with a 6-3 final set score and knock out Andy Murray.

In hindsight, Andy Murray would have preferred the evening game so that he could have came into the match knowing what score he needed, but will ultimately be kicking himself for either or both the 6-1 third set thrashing by Roger Federer on Tuesday, or by defeating Verdasco more comfortably he did, after struggling on his own serve.

The ATP took a very long while, 15+ minutes after the game was over before announcing that Juan Martin Del Potro had qualified for the semi finals. In that time, his celebrity friend Carlos Tevez in the crowd seemed to have whispered in his ears that he had qualified, before playing a few strokes on court with his fellow countryman.

Andy Murray even had this to say on Twitter in between the match finishing and the announcement being made:

Fortunately, any of our followers on Twitter were able to see our updates during the game and the announcement at the end of it that Del Potro had qualified.

Tomorrow sees Novak Djokovic face the already eliminated Rafael Nadal, and the already qualified Robin Soderling face Nikolay Davydenko before Saturday's semi finals.

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