• ATP World Tour Finals

Murray battles past Berdych in London opener

ESPN staff
November 5, 2012 « Van Persie hails Rooney partnership | Chartbeat test »

Andy Murray's homecoming was not quite as glorious as he might have hoped after he scraped past Tomas Berdych in his ATP World Tour Finals opener in London.

The British No. 1, playing on home soil for the first time since his Olympic gold medal and US Open triumph this summer, rallied from a set down to claim a 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory at the O2 Arena.

In a rematch of their US Open semi-final, Murray once again emerged victorious, and just as he did at Flushing Meadows, the Scot was forced to battle from behind after a sluggish opening set.

Murray, kitted out all in black, started brightly against the world No. 6 and had two chances to break in the opening game, but Berdych hung on.

After a love service hold in the fourth game Murray looked comfortable, but three further break points passed him by in the subsequent game and the momentum swung firmly in Berdych's favour when Murray dumped a forehand in the net to hand the Czech a break.

Murray, who was forced to withdraw from the event last season with a groin injury, was left to rue seven unconverted break points as Berdych wrapped up the opening set.

Berdych had the chance to tighten his grip on the match early in the second set, but in a pivotal third game, the Czech inexplicably missed a forehand on break point.

Murray held on, and then pounced, making the breakthrough at the 11th time of asking to take a 3-1 lead, which he then consolidated in style with a love service game.

Although he toiled in his next service game, Murray held his nerve to force a decider, and with the momentum in his favour, the Scot put himself in the driving seat with an early break in the final set. From there it was relatively plan sailing, as the Brit wrapped up victory in two hours and 16 minutes.

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