ATP World Tour Finals: Ruthless streak is key to success, insists victorious Andy Murray after defeating Spain’s David Ferrer
Britain's Andy Murray highlighted the importance of a clinical approach after his quest for a maiden ATP World Tour Finals crown started in solid fashion against Spain’s David Ferrer at London’s O2 Arena on Monday.
The Scot recorded his fifth successive win over seventh seed Ferrer, dispatching the 33-year-old 6-4, 6-4 in 90 minutes, and will now face former world No1 Rafael Nadal in his next match of the round robin tournament tomorrow evening.
Murray failed to reach the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour finals on three of the six occasions he has contested the tournament, while in 2009 he missed out on the last four after not winning his matches in ruthless enough fashion.
“You have to try and win every match,” said Murray. “Every game counts. A few years ago [In 2009] I got knocked out of the group stages by one game, so you have to try and win every game and win every match in two sets.
“Just because I have won the first match doesn’t mean I have qualified. It will be tough against Rafa.”
Victory against Nadal would see Murray finish the year as world No2 for the first time, which would mean avoiding the irrepressible Novak Djokovic until the final of the first grand slam of 2016, the Australian Open.
Switzerland’s Roger Federer is the only player capable of denying Murray his year-ending No2 ranking, although the 17-time grand slam winner would have to win the ATP World Tour Finals title, which would potentially mean beating Djokovic twice.
Success over a dogged Ferrer also eased any concerns Murray had about only switching to the hard court surface late last week after previously practising on clay in preparation for the Davis Cup final in Belgium later this month.
Nadal also made a convincing start to his ATP World Tour finals campaign after brushing aside pugnacious French Open winner Stan Wawrinka 6-3, 6-2 last night.
The manner of Wawrinka’s defeat was surprising given the performances of the Swiss this year in winning a career-high four titles, compared to Nadal, whose streak of winning at least one Major a year came to an end in 2015.
But Nadal’s form since September’s US Open has improved considerably, while the 29-year-old ended a sequence of three defeats in four showdowns with Wawrinka.