Andy Murray was left to rue a missed opportunity as he was knocked out of the Western & Southern Open in straight sets by Roger Federer.
Having lost the first set, Murray responded by claiming a double break in the second, but Federer fired back and won six of the final seven games to seal an impressive 6-3 7-5 quarter-final victory and even up their head-to-head record at 11 wins apiece.
The Briton had been hoping to make an impression in Cincinnati with the US Open just around the corner, but it is Federer who looks imperious heading into Flushing Meadows in under two weeks.
Federer, who won the last meeting between the pair at the Australian Open earlier this year, made a barnstorming start although Murray soaked up the pressure by saving six break points in his opening two service games.
However, from 30-0 up at 2-2, Murray contrived to lose his serve with a forehand wide handing Federer a deserved break for his persistence at the seventh opportunity.
The Swiss was uncharacteristically sloppy immediately afterwards but managed to stave off a couple of break-back points and ruthlessly went on to break a listless Murray once more to close out the set 6-3.
Federer started sluggishly in the second set, though, and a couple of errors opened the door for Murray, whose forehand winner gave him three break points before he finally penetrated the 33-year-old’s serve at the third attempt.
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