LONDON, November 18, 2016
Andy Murray secured his semi-finals spot at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and won the Group John McEnroe with a straight sets victory over Stan Wawrinka on Friday afternoon. The pair squared off for the 17th time with the world No. 1 celebrating his 10th win. Murray hit only 15 winners but broke serve three times to finish the encounter after one hour and 26 minutes, winning 6-4, 6-2.
“Stan came out hitting the ball big, serving well, dictating most of the rallies,” Murray told afterwards. “But once I got through the early part of the match, I started to create chances in most of his service games. I served very well myself. I got a lot of free points with my serve. That allowed me to also dictate a lot of the points, whereas at the beginning of the match I wasn’t able to do that.”
The World No. 1 will face Milos Raonic in Saturday afternoon’s semi-finals.
“It’s a big match, obviously. Milos obviously serves big, goes for his shots. He moves forward when he has the chance. I think he probably likes the conditions here. It’s a little bit quicker. Yeah, you don’t normally get loads of opportunities against the big servers. Then it comes down to when you do get those chances, whether you take them or not. And this year when I’ve played him, I’ve created a few opportunities in the matches. When they’ve come, I’ve been pretty clinical. I’ll need to be the same tomorrow if I want to win.”
Raonic had one day more to recover. Asked what bearing that could have on tomorrow, Murray answered: “I hope nothing. I mean, thankfully today’s match was quick. In the match with Kei, I played 3 hours and 20 minutes. Definitely would have had an impact on the next day’s match. Luckily I had a day’s break after the match with Kei, then a quick one, fairly quick one, today. I don’t think it should have too much of an impact.”
Murray will be joined in the knock-out stages by Kei Nishikori, who is also qualified for the semi-finals. The fifth seed from Japan lost his last round robin match against Marin Cilic 6-2, 2-6, 3-6 in the evening session, but with the World No. 1 beating Wawrinka, Nishikori had automatically gained the last spot for the stage of the final four. Cilic earned his first win at the O2 and will finish the year at a career-high No. 6.
The updated Year-End No. 1 Standings are as follows: Andy Murray 11,510 points; Novak Djokovic 11,380 points in the Emirates ATP Rankings.