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.”