Murray primed for marathon rematch

 

The O2

Four months after they last met on British soil, in the semi-finals of the Olympic tournament, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic will renew their long-standing rivalry here at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals this afternoon. There might be less at stake this time – both men could lose today's round-robin match and still progress to the semi-finals of this season- ending finale – but they will each be aware of the psychological edge that victory could deliver, especially as their head-to-head record this year stands at three wins apiece.

"That was a big match for me," Murray said as he recalled his straight-sets victory over the Serb at the Olympics. "Both of us had a lot of chances. He had loads in the second set, especially early on. I saved a lot of break points. I know how much all the players want to do well at the Olympics and how much it meant to them, so to beat him in the Olympics was a big thing for me."

Djokovic said he expected a long match. The two have similar styles, preferring to rally from the baseline, and the sets they play tend to last for around an hour. Both are exceptional athletes, and both keep forcing their opponents to hit the extra ball.

The Scot, meanwhile, said he had a met a man who knows more than most about marathon efforts. When Murray (right) travelled to the O2 Arena on a boat from his hotel for a practice session at the weekend he was introduced to Jason Arday, a 24-year-old sports lecturer from south London. Arday, who is a big tennis fan, is an epileptic who is aiming to raise £1m for a range of charities before he is 40. His exploits include running 30 marathons in just 35 days.

"He had asked to meet me and it was pretty cool speaking to someone like that," Murray said. "He told me that on the 20th day he fell and had a fit, a seizure. He had a hairline fracture in his leg but he continued to do it. He obviously loves tennis. He watched the US Open and was a big fan. I went back on the boat with him as well. [Juan Martin] Del Potro was there and the Bryan brothers, so he was pretty pumped."

Yesterday's Group B matches produced wins for Roger Federer and David Ferrer. Federer, who is attempting to win this title for the seventh time and for the third year in a row, claimed a record 40th match win in the tournament – one more than Ivan Lendl – when he beat Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 6-1 in impressive fashion.

David Ferrer, who won his first Masters Series title in Paris on Sunday, maintained his winning run when he beat Del Potro 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in the best match of the tournament so far. Del Potro appeared to have taken charge when he levelled at one set apiece, only for the indefatigable Ferrer to come back as strong as ever in the decider.

Today's matches

Singles: Group A

Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray (not before 1.45pm)

Tomas Berdych v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (not before 7.45pm)

Doubles: Group B

R Lindstedt/H Tecau v M Bhupathi/R Bopanna (12pm)

M Mirnyi/D Nestor v J Marray/F Nielsen (not before 6pm)

Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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.

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence