Murray Lays Down Emphatic Marker

The Wimbledon champ has hit the ground running as he looks to secure his number-one status, reports Alex Dibden.

Andy Murray got his ATP World Tour Finals campaign off to a winning start when he beat Marin Cilic in straight sets at the O2 Arena.

Playing on home soil for the first time since becoming World Number One, Murray showed why he had replaced Novak Djokovic at the top with an ominous 6-3 6-2 win.

Neither Murray nor Cilic looked comfortable in the opening exchanges of the first set, but the Brit managed to break Cilic’s serve twice despite three double faults to the Bosnian’s one.

After 46 minutes of play, Murray had set point to take the first set 6-3.

By the second set, Murray had clearly become accustomed to playing in front of 17,000 people who were asked numerous times by umpire Damian Steiner to stop chanting the two-time Wimbledon Champion’s name, as he proved he really is having the season of his career.

Impossible

Cilic had no response to Murray’s damning forehand and found himself with an impossible task when Murray was serving to win the match after winning five straight games.

Murray produced a perfect game to take the match after an hour and 26 minutes.

The win keeps pressure on World Number Two Djokovic, who beat Dominic Thiem on Sunday, as both fight to finish the year at the top of the standings.

Speaking after the match, Murray put his 20 unbeaten run down to the ‘confidence’ he has gained, saying, “When I had my opportunities I took them and that’s what winning matches does for you”.

‘Incredible’

He also took time to thank the adoring fans for their support, saying, “It was an incredible atmosphere tonight. I really appreciate it,” insisting that he was going to keep ‘working hard’ to give his fans ‘moments like this’.

Murray will face Kei Nishikori at 8pm tonight.