And so we aren't to have the Federer-Murray final I was hoping for after all. Maybe it's just as well; I wouldn't have thought either of them would have much left in the tank after yesterday's gargantuan effort - Murray certainly looked the worse for wear in his semi final against Davydenko today, and Federer's back was only going to get worse.
The match itself was right up there with the Wimbledon Final as one of the best of the year. I suppose what made it extra special was that both men had reasons not to give it their all. Murray had already booked his spot in the semis and Federer, clearly in trouble with his back, at times looked like he was considering throwing in the towel as he squatted gingerly between points and sat down whilst waiting for Murray to serve.
Murray said after beating Federer yesterday that the win against the former world #1 meant "almost as much as winning the Masters Cup". That's quite a revealing statement - although I'm not quite sure what to make of it: judging by his demeanour today, he was sorely disappointed after the loss to Davydenko; understandable of course - given the year he's had, it would be reasonable of him to expect to go all the way and win the Title here.
But if that's the case, then would it not be prudent to invest a little less of himself against Federer?
I'm not suggesting he should have tanked the match of course, but he must have known that fighting tooth and nail for each point to the extent that he (and indeed Federer) did would cost him going further into the tournament - especially with the way Davyenko has been playing this week. Which is why I can't completely understand equating the win against Federer (at the round robin stage) with winning the Title itself.
On the other hand though, I suppose with his ability it is reasonable for him to expect to have it all. What kind of an aspiring World Number one would he be if he settled for anything less?