Andy Murray produced a sizzling display from the baseline to hand world number one Roger Federer his first opening-round defeat with a 6-7 6-3 6-4 victory at the Dubai Championships on Monday.
Switzerland's Roger Federer leaves the court after losing his match to Britain's Andy Murray at the ATP Dubai Tennis Championships, March 3, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)
"I definitely could have played much better tennis but then again you've got to give credit to the guy who beat you and came up with shots," said defending champion Federer, who has now lost two of his three meetings with the Briton.
With neither player facing a breakpoint in the first set, Murray was quick off the mark in ensuing tiebreak.
The 20-year-old charged into a 5-2 lead and held a set point at 6-5 but squandered it with a weak return.
Federer made the most of the reprieve and bagged the breaker 8-6 thanks to a forehand error from Murray.
The unseeded Murray capitalised on the only breakpoint in the second set by firing a forehand crosscourt winner to break Federer in the sixth game.
While Murray fought well for every ball on the baseline and served well throughout, unleashing 10 aces, the top seed made numerous forehand errors and looked the weaker player in the third set.
After fighting off two break points in the opening game, he was broken to love at 2-2, and Murray dropped just two points in his final three service games to earn a well-deserved victory.
"I've been really mentally weak for such a long time and not held up in pressure situations, and I showed tonight that was not going to be an issue," Murray, who has won two tournaments this year, told reporters after the one hour 54-minute match.
"I stayed calm the whole way through the match.
"In terms of my serving that was pretty special today. I've worked on my serve a lot and to beat Federer in a three-set match and not have a break point against you, I don't think that's happened to him for a long time."