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Tuesday, Aug 03rd

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ATP World Tour Finals 2016: World No.1 Murray tops Cilic; Nishikori demolishes Wawrinka

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In his first match as World No.1 Andy Murray defeated Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-2 to make a winning start to the World Tour Final. Murray was not at his best, but managed to come up with the goods on the big points converting on 80% of the breakpoints as he neutralised his powerful Croatian opponent in their 90 minute encounter. Cilic was distinctly subpar himself and is yet to open his account at the season finale having gone winless in 2014. The win was Murray’s 73rd of the year and the 200 points he banked today will help in his battle with Djokovic to secure the year end top ranking.

Earlier in the afternoon, Kei Nishikori produced a devastating display to defeat Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3 in just over an hour. The Japanese star hardly put a foot wrong as he hit 19 winners, broke Wawrinka 4 times and did not face a break point to open his campaign in style. The US Open champion was lacklustre in comparison, hitting 31 unforced errors in a disappointing display. Wawrinka will hope for a major improvement when he faces Cilic next on Wednesday while Nishikori takes on Murray.

The doubles saw a major shock as Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram upset top seeds Herbert and Mahut 7-5, 6-4. The loss meant that Mahut could not secure the year end top ranking today and also meant that Soares and Jamie Murray closed the gap to 375 points in what could be a close race to the finish. In the evening double match, Henri Kontinen & John Peers defeated the Lopez duo, Marc & Feliciano, in straight sets 6-3, 7-6(7) in an hour and 18 minutes

The Murray-Cilic contest was undoubtedly anticipated to be the marquee match of the day with Andy Murray playing his first game as the newly crowned World No. 1. The crowd were eager to see their home hero in action and produce a performance worthy of his ranking. That virtuoso performance did not quite materialise with break points were rife in the early going as both men struggled to find their range. Forcing Cilic to play the extra shot time and again helped Murray as he got the better of the early exchanges to forge ahead 4-1. Cilic was not afraid of pulling the trigger but kept misfiring on the final shot having done the hard work to setup the winner. Murray rode the advantage to take the set 6-3.

Early in the second set it looked like Cilic might just turn it around as he generated a break point in the 2nd game. A Murray ace wiped that chance away and from there Murray tightened his game and the screws breaking the big serving Cilic twice to take the set and the match 6-3, 6-2.

Final Scores:

A.Murray d M.Cilic 6-3, 6-2

K.Nishikori d S.Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3

R.Klaasen/R.Ram d P. Herbert/N.Mahut 7-5, 6-4

H.Kontinen / J. Peers d F.Lopez / M.Lopez 6-3, 7-6(7)