Andy Murray was defeated by Roger Federer in straight sets 6-4 7-6(6)
On to New York where the draw takes place on Thursday.
Right from the outset, Federer made no bones about how aggressive he was intending to be – coming in here on fresh legs, with more of a mind of defending his title that worrying about the No. 2 rankings and/or seeding for the US Open.
Federer was quickly rewarded for his persistence, picking off a break before the first change of ends, before the pattern of play seemed to settle a bit for the Brit, with no more looks on his service game for the Swiss.
It was all he needed to close out the first set with just that single break in 39 minutes, with both gentleman cracking out the pace in the second set. The pace may have slowed a little about half way into the set but the intensity remained the same in a competitive battle all the way to the tie-break.
With a mini-break to Federer, Murray clawed his way back on level terms, even saving one match point before surrendering a mini-break on his own serve, giving the defending champion his second match point, and this time he made no mistake.
It was a sterling effort from the Brit, but it has been a busy couple of weeks for him, adding Washington to his schedule this year, before a great run in Montreal.
While Federer blew Murray off the court in Wimbledon, this felt a closer match, but Federer just seemed a little bit sharper when it mattered.
The battle for the No. 2 seeding (and indeed the ranking) does not end here, as Federer has to defend his title to wrap that up. While he dismissed its important when he advanced into the semi-final, there is no doubt that having lost his last two majors to the Serbian, he will want to nudge ahead in their head to head (locked in at 20-20).
And what next for the British No. 1 and (for now anyway) the World No. 2? Thankfully overall he is feeling fine after some testing matches, as he explained after his match.
“I’ve done well to recover from some tough matches. The positive about losing today is I get the opportunity to have an extra days’ rest and recover. I need that. I played a lot of tennis the last couple of weeks, and obviously a lot of the other guys that have been playing a lot didn’t participate in the Davis Cup this year either.
“So after Wimbledon they had much, much longer to recover from that as well. One day might not seem like much to you guys, but it’s a lot for me just now to have 40 hours or whatever, 72 hours to recover now and try and get my body feeling good again.”
It transpired that it had not been his intention at all to even play Cincinnati, had it not been for the early exit in Washington.
“The plan was not to play here. That was my plan so that I could do a post‑Canada ‑‑ basically train for four or five days. So have three, four days off, and then sort of be able to train hard for four or five days. Get a sort of mini training block in before the US Open.
“But then obviously didn’t work out that way. In Washington I lost early, and then we discussed it a bit after Canada as well because of the way that the few matches at the end went there. I feel like it takes me a bit of time going from grass to hard courts for my body to adjust. I felt that maybe going over to Washington early and getting on the hard courts a little bit sooner might help.
“I feel like it has. My body actually feels pretty good considering how much I played.”
The US Open seedings will be based on Monday’s rankings and the draw for the US Open 2015 will be done on Thursday 27 August.
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