Murray to face Djokovic in London

  • Last Updated: November 3 2012, 18:36 GMT

It will be a more relaxed Andy Murray who takes to the court at the O2 Arena on Monday as the Scot prepares to compete on home soil for the first time since winning the US Open.

Murray (l) and Djokovic will face off at the O2

Murray finally broke his grand slam duck in New York two months ago and is one of the favourites to end his season with silverware at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

Saturday's draw put Murray in Group A along with top seed Novak Djokovic, Czech Tomas Berdych and last year's finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and it is Berdych who will be the world number three's first opponent on Monday afternoon.

Murray said: "There's always pressure at all of the major tournaments you play but I feel a little bit more relaxed coming in this year than I have in previous years because I managed to win the US Open.

"But the only thing I can guarantee is that I'll give 110 per cent on the court, fight as hard as I can until the end of all the matches and see where that gets me. Hopefully it'll get me a few wins."

Berdych was the man Murray defeated in the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows in horrendously windy conditions before ending a four-match losing streak in grand slam finals with a five-set victory over Djokovic.

It was only Murray's third victory in seven matches against Berdych, and he knows the big Czech will present plenty of problems in the perfect indoor conditions.

The 25-year-old said: "I knew my first match was going to be against Berdych or (Juan Martin) Del Potro.

"Obviously there are differences in their games but they're both big guys, bit hitters, flat hitters of the ball and can generate power and winning shots from all parts of the court.

"You need to try to use some variety. Against all the guys here you're going to have to play a top-quality match to win."

Del Potro was drawn in Group B with defending champion Roger Federer, who will lose the number one ranking to Djokovic on Monday, fourth seed David Ferrer and eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic.

Murray's group looks significantly tougher but he played down the differences, saying: "Indoors Roger has been the best player over the last couple of years.

"Juan won two tournaments indoors just before Paris. If everyone plays their best tennis, I don't think one group will necessarily be tougher than the other."

Murray has been reunited with coach Ivan Lendl this week for the first time since that momentous night in New York.

Lendl only travels with his charge for certain tournaments and stayed at home in the US while the Scot played in Tokyo, Shanghai and Paris.

Murray, who is making his fifth appearance at the Tour Finals, said: "I always enjoy having him around. He's been a great asset to me and all the guys I work with.

"He's been very easy to work with and helped me and everyone at the big events this year and he's helped me come back from some tough losses and finish the year in the slams very well. I hope we can have a good tournament."

The tournament features the best eight players from the season, although Rafael Nadal is continuing his recovery from a knee injury, handing Tipsarevic an automatic place. He was an alternate last year.

Del Potro is back in the field for the first time since his US Open-winning season in 2009, when he reached the final of the inaugural O2 tournament.

The Argentinian missed almost the whole of 2010 with a wrist problem but is firmly back in the top 10 and arrives in London on the back of tournament wins in Vienna and Basel, where he beat home-town hero Federer in the final.

Del Potro said: "It's a pleasure to be part of the eight players, it's an honour. We have big names playing this week, they're favourites more than me, but to be here is a gift after my wrist injury."

The 24-year-old could also have some high-profile supporters, with Manchester City strikers Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero among his friends.

Tevez was at the O2 to cheer on Del Potro three years ago and even had a hit with his countryman on court.

Del Potro added: "I will invite him and if he has free time then he will be here."


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