Andy Murray loses ATP World Tour Finals opener

 

Andy Murray's chances of reaching the semi-finals at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London were dealt a major blow today as he lost his opening match 6-4 7-5 to Spain's David Ferrer.

The world number three had never been beaten by Ferrer on hard courts before but he seemed to be hampered by a leg problem and paid for a first-serve percentage well below 50%.

Murray, who was broken five times and let leads slip in both sets, will probably now need to beat world number one Novak Djokovic and in-form Czech Tomas Berdych if he is reach the last four at the O2 Arena.

Ferrer has had an impressive season, establishing himself as the leading player outside the top four, but Murray had won their previous four meetings including here last year and in back-to-back weeks in Tokyo and Shanghai last month.

The match quickly adopted a predictable pattern, with Ferrer drilling shots from the baseline while Murray attempted to knock his opponent out of his rhythm.

Murray got his reward with a break in only the third game, finally taking his fourth chance, but he promptly gave the advantage straight back with a loose series of points.

Murray has been in great form this autumn, winning titles in Bangkok, Tokyo and Shanghai, but he was struggling to get going today.

There were glimpses in the sixth game, not least a searing backhand pass that clinched a quite brilliant point, much to the delight of an O2 Arena that disappointingly was far from full.

The Scot, watched by good friend David Haye, was making life difficult for himself with a poor first-serve percentage and, when he did get a chance to break in the ninth game, he was made to pay for being too passive.

 

Murray appeared to be struggling with a leg problem and he was certainly not moving particularly well.

Suddenly Ferrer, who was playing a very solid match, was threatening the Murray serve to take the set. One chance disappeared with a wayward forehand but on the second it was the home hope who miscued.

Unsurprisingly, the trainer arrived to see Murray before the start of the second set, massaging and stretching out the world number three's left leg and hip.

Ferrer, the most dogged of Spanish baseliners, is certainly not the player one would want to face when struggling physically but Murray received an immediate boost with a break in the opening game after his opponent netted the simplest of backhands.

Again the 24-year-old's break did not last long, Ferrer winning four successive points on his opponent's serve to level at 2-2, and Murray looked in real trouble when a mis-hit and net cord helped the Spaniard to two more break points in the sixth game, but this time he held on.

And in the next game he raised the pace to move a break ahead once more, only to give it straight back with a double fault.

It was a fascinating contest, if far from a great match, but Murray's weakness on serve eventually proved the decisive factor as Ferrer brought up a first match point at 5-6 and took it with a backhand winner.

PA

News
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
people
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl despairs during the arena auditions
tvX Factor review: Drama as Cheryl and Simon spar over girl band

News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Angel Di Maria celebrates his first goal for Manchester United against QPR
Football4-0 victory is team's first win under new manager Louis van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
art
News
newsIn short, yes
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris claimed the top spot in this week's single charts
music
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
News
Groundskeeper Willie has backed Scottish independence in a new video
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor poses the question of whether we are every truly alone in 'Listen'
tvReview: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode to date
News
i100
Life and Style
Cara Delevigne at the TopShop Unique show during London Fashion Week
fashion
News
The life-sized tribute to Amy Winehouse was designed by Scott Eaton and was erected at the Stables Market in Camden
peopleBut quite what the singer would have made of her new statue...
Sport
England's Andy Sullivan poses with his trophy and an astronaut after winning a trip to space
sport
News
peopleThe actress has agreed to host the Met Gala Ball - but not until 2015
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories