Happy 2009 to you as well Karin. Murray will be a difficult player from here on out for Federer because his return of serve lets him get into a lot more points than Fed is accustomed to on his own serve. On top of this, Murray has a really good serve and he's served a good % against Federer.
Federer's BH has held up pretty well against Andy in their matches, but he's lacked the explosiveness on his FH except in New York. A few years back, any weak shot hit to Fed's FH would be punished and an opponent's chance of winning the point after hitting a weak shot to Fed's FH was very, very low. Murray hits plenty of weak FH's to FEd's FH, but Fed doesn't crush them like he did 2-3 years ago. If he is connecting on that FH, I think he can pull off a good, tough 4 set win. If it's not, it's going to be very tough to win unless Murray is having one of his 40% serving days.
I don't dispute anything you say, I happen to think that Andy Murray is indeed a great player (I've been saying that since I joined MTF, check it out if you don't believe me
), and he might well be a future ATP #1. Even more, I LIKE the lad - call it a Guilty Pleasure.
And yes, Roger isn't the Roger of, say, two, three years ago anymore. Acknowleding that is just a matter of being *realistic*.
But still - Roger *trashed* Murray at the USO, the last HC GS played. I'm not taking Roger's earlier losses to Muzza into account as I happen to believe he was still suffering from the (after-)effects of his mono-infection at that time (not saying that I dispute the value of Murray's victories, not at all).
Murray's last victory in Shanghai? A very tight, hard-fought three setter, while Roger was obviously very troubled by a severe back injury...
I might well be very wrong, but I reckon that we're going to see a VERY DIFFERENT Roger Federer in Doha - and if not there, at least at the AO - provided that nasty back injury doesn't pop up again, of course.
However much I acknowledge Murray's (and Nadal's, and Djoko's) tennis virtues, I just don't feel willing to play the obvious popular 'Pessimistic About Roger's Chances'
-game as of yet.