SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Andy Murray said beating Roger Federer in the Masters Cup on Friday was worth every ounce of effort he expended, even if it costs him a place in the final of the season-ending championship.
The British world number four knocked the holder out of the $4.45 million tournament after three hours of gripping drama in a match he did not need to win, having already secured a place in Saturday's semi-finals.
Had he lost, Murray would have faced Serbia's world number three Novak Djokovic for a place in Sunday's final but, as it is, he will meet Russian Nikolay Davydenko in the last four.
"I didn't care if I played Djokovic or Davydenko," said the Scot. "I was playing against Federer. I wanted to win. I'm not going to go over against him and let him beat me easily.
"Psychologically, a win like that is going to be huge for me next time I play him, especially in big matches... he's one of the greatest players of all time, so it meant a lot for me to win that one."
The 21-year-old became only the third player to beat Federer three times in one season after Argentine David Nalbandian and the man who took the number one ranking off the Swiss this year, Spain's Rafael Nadal.
Murray has tasted defeat just once since his loss to the Swiss in the U.S. Open final in early September and he baulked at the suggestion his victory on Friday was due to a major decline in Federer's play.
"He's still playing great. I mean, he's number two in the world," Murray said.
"Nadal's had one of the best years in tennis over the last 20 years and he (Federer) is still not that far behind him. So he's maybe lost a few more matches than normal, lost to guys that he doesn't normally lose to.
"But it's not totally surprising. He's normally losing like seven matches a year, which is ridiculous."
The match had taken its toll, Murray said, but he would not know how much it would effect him until he woke up.
"I'm probably going to be a bit tired tomorrow," he said. "It depends physically how I feel. If I feel good, then I have a good chance of winning. If not, then it's going to be tough."