Swede takes first Masters title by beating home favourite Gael Monfils 6-1, 7-6.
|Home favourite Andy Murray serves up to Robin Soderling at London’s O2 arena [GALLO/GETTY]|
Andy Murray delighted the home crowd on the first day of the end-of-season ATP World Tour Finals in London, overpowering Sweden’s Robin Soderling 6-2, 6-4, and in the late game Roger Federer swept past Spain’s David Ferrer 6-1 6-4.
Murray was in top form as he opened the tournament on Sunday, featuring the world’s top eight players, with the kind of dominant display that hinted the British number one is capable of providing a home winner for the fans.
Murray, who slipped below Soderling to fifth in the world rankings this week after the Swede won the Paris Masters, seized on a slow start by his opponent to claim victory in the opening match in Group B which also contains Federer.
Soderling only had only five forehand winners while committing 12 unforced errors with his often dominating shot.
Murray looked to be the more solid player throughout, facing only one break point in the match while converting three of his six.
Murray and Soderling are in Group B at the round-robin tournament. Group A will take the court on Monday with top-ranked Rafael Nadal facing Andy Roddick and Novak Djokovic playing Tomas Berdych
The 23-year-old Scot broke serve in the third and seventh games to take the opening set but was made to work harder in the second as Soderling began to find his range.
Murray survived his only break point of the match at 2-3 in the second set and pounced in the following game with some sparkling tennis inside the cavernous arena which was filled to its 17,500 capacity.
Three games later Murray closed out the one hour 20 minute contest to pocket the $120,000 up for grabs for each round-robin victory.
Four more performances of similar quality could see the Briton cashing in the $1.6-million prize for an undefeated champion.
Roger Federer got straight down to business trouncing Ferrer.
The 29-year-old Swiss, bidding to win the year-ending showpiece for a record-equalling fifth time, produced a ruthless display to take his career record against Ferrer to 11-0.
Federer blazed into a 4-0 lead in the opening set with a succession of sublime winners and although his seventh-ranked opponent doggedly stuck to his task, he was no match for the imperious 16-times grand slam champion.
After claiming the opening set in 33 minutes, Federer broke in the seventh game of the second but had to fend off three break points when he served for the match at 5-4 before sealing victory.