Murray ready to banish adversity in crunch Raonic O2 showdown

 
Ross McLean
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BRITAIN’S Andy Murray is relishing the test of defying the odds once again by reaching the knockout stages of the ATP World Tour Finals before turning his focus to expanding his grand slam haul in 2015.

The 28-year-old faces an uphill battle to reach the semi-finals after opening the O2 spectacle with a straight-sets defeat to Japan’s Kei Nishikori, with eighth seed Milos Raonic his opponent in today’s second round of matches.

Murray faces crunch clashes against the big-serving Canadian and world No2 Roger Federer as he bids to secure a semi-final spot at the season finale.

And after enduring a turbulent year following back surgery and a split with coach Ivan Lendl, Murray played 23 matches and won three titles during an intensive six-week period just to reach the ATP Finals, a workload the Scot hopes will lay a solid foundation.

“It’s disappointing to start with a loss but I’m still in the competition and it just gives me another challenge at the end of a tough year,” he said. “I finally feel confident my body’s good and these last six weeks are going to stand me in good stead for next year.”