TENNIS : Andy Murray claimed his second round-robin victory at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals with an epic 6-4 6-7 (4/7) 7-6 (7/3) win over Fernando Verdasco but must wait to find out whether he goes through to the semi-finals at London’s O2 Arena.
Andy Murray claimed his second round-robin victory at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals with an epic 6-4 6-7 (4/7) 7-6 (7/3) win over Fernando Verdasco but must wait to find out whether he goes through to the semi-finals at London’s O2 Arena.
The British number one went into the match knowing a straight-sets win would secure his progress regardless of the result of Thursday night’s match between Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro.
But, despite being under pressure on his serve for most of the match, Verdasco dug in to push Murray to the limit and a Federer win will ensure the world number four makes it through to the last four on Saturday.
A Federer defeat in straight sets, though, would see the 22-year-old miss out while a three-set victory for Del Potro would complicate matters still further, with games then required to split the trio.
Murray’s serve had let him down in his defeat by the world number one on Tuesday and it was a similar story in the early stages, the Scot struggling to land his first serve consistently and mixing aces with double faults.
The seventh seed had to save three break points in an eight-minute opening game and at 3-3 Verdasco snuffed out another opportunity with a second-serve ace.
The pressure finally told in the ninth game, however, Murray doing very well to stay in a lengthy point and getting his reward when Verdasco missed the simplest of backhand volleys.
The Spaniard was certainly giving away less cheap points but Murray’s serving had improved and he was keeping his nose in front reasonably comfortably.
The crowd urged him to break with Verdasco serving to stay in the match at 4-5 but the world number eight did not crack, and he was coolness personified two games later as he set up another tie-break.