World No.2 Murray defeats rival Federer in IPTL Dubai leg

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The Scot downed Federer 6-4 in the fifth set singles match-up.

Andy Murray may not read too much into his victory over Roger Federer in the IPTL Dubai leg but the world No.2 feels the competition is giving him some incredible experiences which he wouldn’t get in any other platform.

The recently-crowned Davis Cup champion made his debut in the IPTL 2015 season on Tuesday night for the Singapore Slammers, and helped his team upset the home UAE Royals 26-22.

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Murray took part in three of the five sets of the match, partnering Belinda Bencic in mixed doubles, stepping in for Nick Kyrgios at the end of the men’s doubles, before toppling Federer.

The Scot was initially not scheduled to play the IPTL as he was offered to play in Singapore and did not want to travel so far considering he had a late end to his season due to his Davis Cup commitments.

He was scheduled to have his training block in Dubai and said he’d like to play in the emirate if a slot opened up. And when Novak Djokovic made a late withdrawal from the league, Murray got the call and was happy to be part of the action at the Aviation Club.

And against the Royals, after losing with Bencic to Daniel Nestor and Kristina Mladenovic, Murray saved the day for the Slammers in the men’s doubles. The Singapore team of Kyrgios and doubles world No. 1 Marcelo Melo were two points away from losing the set, down 4-5, 0-30 against Federer and Marin Cilic before Murray was subbed on for the Aussie.

The introduction of the 28-year-old seemed to do the trick as Murray sprung his side to victory and finished the job against Federer.

“We spoke in the change of end at 5-4 in the doubles match and said if we go behind in the game I’ll come in and just try and change something. Marin double-faulted straightaway and I hit a winning return on the next point and all of a sudden it’s different. And that’s the cool thing,” explained Murray.

“I’ve played Roger (Federer) once in doubles but like 10 years ago. I may never get the chance to do that again. I was saying last year I got to play against Serena (Williams) in mixed (in the IPTL) and it’s really nice to get the chance to do that. And if it wasn’t for an event like this it may never happen so I enjoyed it.”

Asked how competitive the players are being in the IPTL, Murray added: “I think all of the players really want to win. Last year when we came no one quite knew how it was going to be and how everyone was going to interact on the side of the court and stuff.

“I played the very first matches in the Philippines last year so it took a little while for the players to get used to it. Whereas this year everyone wants to win. It’s fun still but everyone is competitive. You don’t be as great as Roger has been for so long if you aren’t competitive and want to win.

“Obviously I’m trying my best to win but you don’t read too much into the matches either because some of the guys haven’t played matches for a while or haven’t been practicing as much. There were some good points, but just a little bit inconsistent.”

Federer is now a surprising 0-6 in the six IPTL sets he has played this season.

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