BRITISH No1 Andy Murray is off and running at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London after downing Sweden’s Robin Soderling in straight sets.
A bumper crowd of 17,500 were treated to a near faultless display from the 23-year-old, who took just an hour and 20 minutes to vanquish this season’s beaten French Open finalist 6-2 6-4.
Soderling arrived in London fresh from claiming his first Masters title in Paris and having leapfrogged Murray in the world rankings. But the Swede never got going here, running into a home favourite, determined to put on a show for his followers.
Murray said: “I managed to play a lot of long rallies but hit some big passing shots when I needed to, I’m just glad to come through.
“The court is really slow for an indoor court and I used the slice really well, it was staying pretty low, and played a lot of drop-shots which some of the commentators don’t like, but they worked today.”
At the same event last year, Murray opened with a win over Juan Martin del Potro, only to lose out on a semi-final spot to the Argentine five days later on the percentage of games won. And the Scot acknowledged winning in straight sets won’t do his chances of progression any harm this time.
He said: “I got a little bit unlucky last year so it was good to get off to a great start today and win in straight sets. The two matches I won here last year were in three sets so if it does get tight then it’s obviously a help.”
Murray faces Roger Federer tomorrow in his next group B match. The Swiss star kicked off his campaign with a 6-1 6-4 win over Spaniard David Ferrer.