Andy Murray hoping to avoid exiting the World Tour Finals like brother Jamie

Published: Friday 20th November 2015 by The News Editor

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Andy Murray will hope he does not suffer the same fate as his brother when he takes on Stan Wawrinka for a place in the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals tonight.

Jamie Murray and John Peers faced a winner-takes-all clash with Bob and Mike Bryan but saw five match points go begging before going down 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7/5) 16-14.

They led 9-5 in the first-to-10 deciding tie-break and Australian Peers missed what appeared the simplest of forehands at 9-8 as their fruitful three-year partnership came to a heartbreaking end.

Strangely, Murray and Wawrinka have not played each other since 2013, when the Swiss won both their matches comfortably.

The added complication for Murray is he wants to be in prime shape for next weekend’s Davis Cup final on clay in Belgium and Wawrinka, who was in a similar position last year, feels that could be a factor.

The fourth seed said: “It’s impossible to know exactly what we can expect from him. If I look at the match (against Nadal), I think he was a little bit flat.

“We’ll see. Maybe he’s going to feel more relaxed, no pressure, go for it more, or maybe he’s not going to be completely here. If he’s mentally not really here, then he’s a different player.”

Murray, meanwhile, does not think the round-robin format is to blame for a succession of one-sided matches.

Last year 10 of the 12 singles matches in the group stage were straight sets, with the loser of 16 of those 20 sets winning three games or fewer.

This year after five days of competition there have again only been two three-set matches, and the trend has been for a competitive first set to be followed by a whitewash in the second, such as Murray’s 6-4 6-1 loss to Nadal.

At the end of a long season and with each player guaranteed three matches, it would perhaps not be surprising for levels of resilience to be lower than normal.

But Murray said: “I think the way the format is, almost every game is important. Rather than thinking, ‘Oh, well, I can just lose this set, it’s fine’.

“You certainly don’t want to lose to one of the guys that you’re competing against in the biggest events for the biggest titles in the sport quickly in the second set.

“There have been many close matches over the years. I just think it’s been a bit unfortunate the way some of the matches have ended the last couple of years.”

Murray bristled at a suggestion he might not have been unhappy to lose to Nadal if it meant he finished second in the group and therefore avoided world number one Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals.

The Scot said: “I’m not trying to finish second in the group. I’m trying to win every match that I play. I hope that’s how all of the players view it.”

Published: Friday 20th November 2015 by The News Editor

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