London :Roger Federer was in sublime form as he moved closer to a place in the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Andy Murray at London's O2 Arena on Tuesday.
Federer had lost his last two meetings with Murray and has never been completely comfortable when facing the British number one, but the Swiss star was at his imperious best as he romped to his second successive Group B victory in the prestigious end-of-year event.
Due to the complex nature of the tournament rules, Federer will seal his place in the last four later on Tuesday if David Ferrer defeats Robin Soderling or if Soderling beats Ferrer in three sets.
Either way, the world number two looks in the mood to end a frustrating year on a high by claiming his fifth Tour Finals title.
Murray, the fifth seed, must now defeat Ferrer in his final match on Thursday to have any chance of going through.
The Scot had beaten Federer in Masters finals in Toronto and Shanghai this year and didn't drop a set on either occasion as he improved his career record against the Swiss to an impressive 8-5.
Yet for all Murray's success against Federer, he has fared less well when the stakes have been highest.
Murray's 2010 campaign was derailed for months by the emotional aftermath of Federer's crushing victory in the Australian Open final in January, while the Swiss also defeated him in the US Open final in 2008.
Federer has struggled by his own high standards over the last 12 months and surrendered his place on top of the rankings to Rafael Nadal after failing to retain the French Open and Wimbledon titles.
But the six-time Wimbledon champion has always thrived in London and he made a lightning start that left Murray rocked.
Federer was hitting with purpose and aggression and, although he wasted a break point in the opening game, he broke in the next service game with a blistering return that almost ripped through Murray such was the venom behind it.
Murray regrouped and was able to hold serve comfortably after that but the damage had already been done.
With Federer's own serve in a smooth groove, there only one brief glimmer of hope for Murray when he took a 30-0 lead as the Swiss served for the set.
That hope was swiftly extinguished as Federer unleashed a overhead smash and a perfectly placed forehand winner to make it 30-30 before closing out the set.
Federer kept on coming at Murray at the start of the second set and broke in the first game when he converted his third break point with a breath-taking cross-court winner.
When Federer is in this kind of mood, his opponent must feel it is almost impossible to prevail, yet Murray didn't help himself with some sloppy play and his total of 26 unforced errors emphasised his malaise.
Federer could sense the match was there for the taking and he took advantage of Murray's missed dropped shot to break again for a 3-0 lead.
There was no way back from that for Murray and Federer was completely unruffled as he served out an emphatic victory.