Break point for Murray as glory season ends

ANDY MURRAY will fly out on holiday this week, licking his wounds after a painful end to a wonderful season.

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The Scot heads for the sun with an Olympic gold medal and the US Open trophy tucked up at home but also with the realisation that Roger Federer, at 31, is far from finished.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion crushed the Scot's dreams of becoming the Barclays ATP World Tour champion under the lights of the 02 Arena in London and thrust himself back into the limelight as a strong contender for the slams again next season.

The talk in tennis has been of a new world order of Novak Djokovic and Murray. Federer has barged himself back in to the forefront of any argument at the top of tennis.

The greatest player of all time can now view 2013 with great optimism. Murray will be disconsolate at the disappointing finish to a great season, but the 25-year-old looked tired long before the end of a comfortable victory for Federer.

The Scot will now head on holiday before going on to Miami to train for a month in preparation for next season.

Federer, the seven-time Wimbledon champion, now bids to be a seven-time winner of the tour finals, and will face Djokovic in tonight's showpiece.

Djokovic celebrated his progression into final by presenting each member of the media with a chocolate as he wandered around the interview room with boxes handed to him by his agent.

"I am really looking forward to it," he said after beating Juan Martin Del Potro. "Knowing it's the last match of the season, I'm really going to try to give my best physically and mentally to eventually try to get the trophy."

The Serb, who has reached the final of this event for the first time since 2008, has won all four matches he has played at the 02 in the competition.

He said: "I felt a little bit better and fresher physically coming into the tournament than I was in last two years. So I think that is very encouraging obviously, very positive before you get to play a top player.

"That was a big difference this year and made me be more prepared for all the matches and to play a more aggressive style of the game."

The world No.1 has had a draining year, winning the Australian Open in January and now standing one match away from the end of season title.

"I look forward to that very much," he said of the prospect of a holiday. "But right now I need to try to do my best to get ready for the finals. It's the last match of the year, so I'm going to give my best, then have a couple weeks off."

Del Potro said he was encouraged by the defeat and said his London campaign had strengthened his hopes for next year.

"I beat Roger [Federer] yesterday. I was close to beating Nole today. But in the end, they are too good for me. But I'm getting closer every day."

The Argentinian, who won the US Open in 2009 before being cut down by injury, said: "My big challenge for next year, my big goal, will be to try to fight for all the Grand Slams with this top group.

"You know, those winning all the Grand Slams: Novak, Federer, Rafa and now Murray. I would like to be part of that."


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