Murray came of age after Wimbledon heartache: Federer

Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:47pm EST
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Andy Murray's tearful defeat in his first Wimbledon final proved the catalyst for the Scot's golden summer, according to Roger Federer, the man who crushed Murray's hopes that day in July.

Federer's ruthless display on Centre Court to win a seventh Wimbledon title was a massive blow for Murray for whom it was his fourth defeat in a grand slam final.

Inevitable questions were raised about Murray's ability to get over the final hurdle yet the 25-year-old rebounded a few weeks later to beat Federer in the Olympic singles final and in September he won the U.S. Open by defeating world number one Novak Djokovic in a five-set epic.

Federer and Murray will clash for the third time in London this year on Sunday in the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals with the Swiss two wins away from a seventh title.

The 31-year-old said his victory over the British favorite at Wimbledon may have been a watershed moment for Murray whose first two grand slam final defeats came at the hands of Federer in the 2008 U.S. Open and 2010 Australian Open.

Discussing Murray's coming of age since Wimbledon, 17-times grand slam champion Federer said: "Andy did great. I always hoped he would have a reaction like this, to be quite honest, even though it cost me maybe a gold medal.

"I was a bit disappointed in his reaction after the Australian Open finals, when I beat him there, then he went on a bad spell I think through Rotterdam, Indian Wells, Miami. He didn't really play so well.

"Instead of taking positives out of a great tournament, because he was playing great tennis, he took the negatives out of it. I don't think he did that mistake again after Wimbledon. That's the sign of a champion.   Continued...

Roger Federer of Switzerland (L) holds his winners trophy and Andy Murray of Britain holds his runners-up trophy after Federer defeated Murray in their men's singles final tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London July 8, 2012. REUTERS/Toby Melville