Roger Federer sent Andy Murray crashing out of the ATP Tour Finals in humiliating fashion with 6-0, 6-1 victory on Thursday that ensured Japan’s Kei Nishikori would qualify for the semi-finals.
Nishikori’s 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over alternate David Ferrer earlier on Thursday left Murray facing the daunting task of having to beat Federer in straight sets to go through from Group B.
But Murray was routed in only 56 minutes in a defeat which equalled his worst ever result, a 6-1, 6-0 loss against Novak Djokovic in Miami in 2007.
Federer, bidding for his seventh Tour Finals title, finished top of the group after winning all three of his matches, and he will be joined in the last four by Nishikori on his maiden appearance in the prestigious season-ending event at London’s O2 Arena.
“Clearly I’m very happy to play a good match today. I knew I was qualified so maybe I went in a bit more relaxed,” Federer said.
“It’s not the way I thought it was going to go but there’s always next year for Andy.”
It was a horrible way for Murray to end a disappointing campaign which saw him surrender his Wimbledon title, briefly drop out of the top 10 for the first time in six years and fail to win a tournament until the final weeks of the season.
But he could have no complaints after a lacklustre display was brutally punished by Federer, who becomes the ninth player ever to reach the landmark of 250 career indoor wins.
Murray had a solid record against Federer, winning 11 of their 22 previous meetings, but the Swiss had won both their matches this year and all three of their past encounters at the Tour Finals.
Federer was already through to the semi-finals for the 12th time in 13 attempts, equalling Ivan Lendl’s record for last four appearances, and Murray was the latest to fall victim to the 33-year-old’s dominance under the O2 dome.