US OPEN champion Andy Murray revealed that the memory of last week’s surprise defeat to Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz at the Paris Masters inspired him to yesterday’s 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Tomas Berdych at the ATP World Tour Finals in London.
In his first fixture in Britain since becoming a Grand Slam winner, Murray had dropped the opening set to the world No8 who began with impressive consistence and he wasted 10 break points throughout the course of the two hour, eight minute long affair before assuming the match’s momentum midway through the second. His dominant serve reappeared to secure the course of the third, and with it the opening singles match of the tournament.
“I was thinking the reasons why that had happened,” said Murray, when reminded of the way he had avoided succumbing to a defeat similar to that which he had experienced last week in Paris. “The match against [Novak] Djokovic in Shanghai [when Murray lost 5-7, 7-6 (13-11), 6-3 to the final of the Shanghai Masters], again, I didn’t really feel like I did loads wrong in that match. The one last week, I said I was disappointed with. I rushed, didn’t concentrate and focus as hard as I needed to. That was why I got broken.
“So I focused on every point. I got myself pumped up. I took my time and served it out well.”
It was perhaps in that period of play in the second set when the match was lost and won. Berdych, who had on Sunday spoken of a desire to avenge his semi-final defeat to Britain’s No1 during September’s US Open, appeared the more confident of the two with the second set underway and Murray a stuttering, frustrated figure at 1-1 and with a break point to the former. Had it been taken a route back into the match would have been difficult for Murray to find but Berdych wasted his opportunity to push on and the Scot thereafter played with a conviction to leave his opponent to rue an ultimately decisive point.
“I think the biggest moment was in the second set,” Berdych said. “1-1, that I had that breakpoint. I just hit a forehand return, and it was just like small out. Who knows, it could be 2-1, early break after winning the first set. There was a pretty good chance, but it didn’t happen.”
Murray must still negotiate matches with Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to advance to the tournament’s semi-final.
Roger Federer v Janko Tipsarevic, 1.45pm; David Ferrer v Juan Martin del Potro, 7.45pm
M Bhupathi/R Bopanna v J Marray/F Nielsen, 12pm; L Paes/R Stepanek v A Qureshi/J Roger 6pm