LONDON, November 16, 2016
Andy Murray has started his Barclays ATP World Tour Finals campaign with a 2-0 record for the first time since his season finale debut in Shanghai in 2008. The World No. 1 opened with an impressive 6-3, 6-2 win over Marin Cilic on Monday and fought past fifth seed Kei Nishikori 6-7, 6-4, 6-4 in his second Group John McEnroe round robin match on Wednesday.
Murray sent down eight aces, winning 76 per cent of his first service points to prevail in three hours and 30 minutes.
“I’m a bit tired, obviously,” said Murray after the battle, which has tied for the longest match on the ATP World Tour in 2016 when Pablo Cuevas defeated Daniel Gimeno-Traver in the first round at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Monte Carlo. “But you tend to feel it more the following day, sort of in terms like stiffness and soreness in the body. I was in the ice bath after the match. That obviously helps kind of make you feel a bit better. But sort of 10, 12 hours afterwards the body starts to stiffen up. I’m sure tomorrow I’ll be a bit sore. But it’s positive I get a day’s rest, a day’s recovery tomorrow.
”It’s obviously important to win matches to give yourself the best chance to go through. 200 points for each match here is quite a lot, as well. Obviously that increases as you get into the semis, potentially in the final. It could come down to a match between me and Novak. Who knows what’s going to happen [over] the next few days. Just from my side, [I need to] concentrate on trying to win my own matches, get through as many as I can, make it as tough as possible for Novak to jump me.”
Murray now has 11,585 points in the Emirates ATP Rankings, 405 points ahead of World No. 2 Novak Djokovic with 11,180 points
In the evening session, third seed Stan Wawrinka defeated Marin Cilic of Croatia 7-6, 7-6. The 31-year-old Swiss won 83 of the 157 total points played to seal victory in one hour and 58 minutes.
“It was a great match,” said Wawrinka, who keeps alive his chances to qualifiy for the semi-finals. “I’m really happy with the way I played in general. It was a tough match, for sure – two tie-breaks. I think the level was really high… I think I was moving great. It was a great victory for me.”
Monfils Withdraws Due To Rib Injury
Gael Monfils struggled through the last two sets of his round-robin defeat to Dominic Thiem on Tuesday and has been replaced by Belgium’s David Goffin, who will fulfill the Frenchman’s final match of the tournament against Novak Djokovic on Thursday.
“Yesterday was tough in the game. Today I couldn’t be feeling great and couldn’t practise, so I just decided that I couldn’t play tomorrow. You work so hard for this moment, then not be able play your best – it is a huge disappointment for me,” Monfils explained.
“I attempted to play in two matches and I have a couple of stuff I wanted to show. I’m disappointed, but, as I say, it will give me more strength for next year.”