New Delhi: Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal began their ATP World Tour Finals campaign with convincing wins over David Ferrer and Stan Wawrinka in London on Monday.
On the second day of season finale, Murray beat Ferrer 6-4, 6-4 in straight sets of Group Ilie Nastase at the O2 Arena. And a win in his next match against another Spaniard Nadal -- who beat Wawrinka later -- would ensure Murray ends the year as world number two for the first time.
In the first set, the Briton broke Ferrer thanks to a double fault from the Spaniard in the ninth game. Before that the 28-year-old had missed four break-point chances. The opening set lasted 48 minutes.
The seventh-seeded Spaniard then started the second set with a break of service, but lost the advantage in the sixth game. Serving the stay in the 10th game to stay in the match, the 33-year-old from Xabia committed his eighth double fault for a 0-30. Then Murray produced a smash to end the match in just over 90 minutes.
In the evening match from the same group, Nadal produced a solid game against Wawrinka to win the match in straight sets 6-2, 6-3 in 80 minutes.
A packed-O2 Arena crowd was expecting another thrilling encounter, following their 2 hour 23 minutes epic at the Paris Masters quarter-finals match, but the Swiss failed to keep up the momentum despite a good start, breaking Nadal in the very first game.
Nadal responded with his own break immediately, then took the final initiative in the third break-point chance of the eighth game to set up the first game. The set lasted 39 minutes.
Keeping the momentum, Nadal started the second on high, forcing Wawrinka to defend six break points in a 19-point first game. But the fourth seeded player from Switzerland soon lost his serves in the third and fifth games. Those twin breaks were enough for the fourth seeded Nadal to start his London campaign on a victorious note.
It was a below par game from Wawrinka, who has a chance to pass illustrious Roger Federer this week and become the year-end No. 1 Swiss for the first time. For that too happen, he will need to reach his first ATP World Tour Finals title match. He was two-time semi-finalist in the last two editions.
The 30-year-old committed 35 unforced errors, against Nadal's 12.