LONDON, November 23- World number one Roger Federer is looking forward to the chance for revenge over home favourite Andy Murray in the ATP World Tour Finals in London on Tuesday.
Federer suffered a costly defeat to Murray in the group stage of the end-of-season event when it was held in Shanghai last year.
The Swiss star was eliminated from the tournament as a result of that 6-4, 6-7, 5-7 loss – ending his two-year reign as Tour Finals champion.
It was not the first time that Murray had upset Federer – the Scot holds a 6-3 career winning record against arguably the greatest player of all time, although the Wimbledon and French Open champion won their last meeting in Cincinnati.
Federer has a chance to get his own back on Murray for that Shanghai loss by beating the British number one when they meet again in their Group A clash at the O2 Arena.
"Obviously I expect a difficult match. It’s always fun playing your fellow rivals. I think Andy has been one of the guys I played the most," Federer said.
"From Shanghai last year, I remember I was not going into the match with the highest of hopes. I knew I had only a little bit left in the tank because I was sick two days before.
"I was injured two or three weeks before. So I kind of just said to myself, You know what, I’ll play aggressive and see what happens.
"I was playing incredible for a set. I almost got a victory. But I thought it was a very exciting match to be a part of.
"It was unfortunate for me not to come through. But I still think the match was great. I hope we can live up to the expectations and play another good one."
Federer is likely to need a significant improvement on his erratic win against Spain’s Fernando Verdasco on Sunday.
While Murray looked good in his 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 victory over US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, Federer looked ill at ease as he dropped the first set before eventually finding some rhythm to win 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.
"I just felt that sort of at the beginning of the second set, I was starting to return better. The whole first set I was struggling to really put normal returns into play," Federer said.
"That can happen at times. I thought he did a good job of mixing it up and playing aggressive at times, coming up with the right play.
"I was down a set and only in the second set was I able to sort of get the ball into play, find my range, find my rhythm. I think this is also when I started to feel like I had chances.
"But it was a crucial match for me to get off with a win in the round robin stages. Because Fernando is a great player and I’m happy I was able to come through."
The Tour Finals are being held in London for the first time this year and Federer, who so relishes his trips to the capital to play at Wimbledon, admitted he has enjoyed his first taste of indoor tennis in England.
"I thought the crowds were great. The lighting is unique. I thought it was very nice to play in. It’s not like Wimbledon, but still special," he said.
"The playing surface, I thought it was pretty medium pace. There are some bad bounces, but that always happens with those wooden floors that we play on.
"It felt like a proper court. Fair for all playing styles. If you want to play far back, you can do that. If you want to move in, you can do that, too. That’s why I think it’s a good surface for the World Tour Finals."