Andy Murray marked his first match on home turf since winning the US Open with a gritty 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Tomas Berdych in the ATP Tour Finals at London's O2 Arena on Monday.
Murray was playing in front of a British audience for the first time since his dramatic final win against Novak Djokovic in New York in September and he rewarded the partisan crowd with a come from behind Group A success to kick off his latest bid to win the season-ending event.
He entered the court to a rapturous reception that reflected the British sporting public's new-found admiration for a player who had previously struggled to win them over.
The 25-year-old, who has never been past the semi-finals of the Tour Finals in four previous attempts, made a slow start against Czech fifth seed Berdych. But, after failing to convert any of his first 10 break-point chances, Murray finally found his rhythm in the second set and was able to ease to the finish line in just over two hours.
‘Djokovic the real No. 1’
Roger Federer is in no doubt that Novak Djokovic deserves to finish 2012 as the world’s top-ranked player. Federer replaced Djokovic at the top of the standings after winning Wimbledon in July but ceded the position Monday.
"We know who the real number one is," said Federer. It is going to be Novak. I do not think there should be any debate around about that. You do not get to number one by chance.
The rankings are something that shows how you have played over a 365-day period. It might all change again in two months at the Australian Open but right now it is clear." Federer all but conceded the spot when opting out of defending his Paris Masters.