London: Andy Murray silenced the critics who claimed he was distracted by dreams of Davis Cup glory as the Scot opened his ATP Tour Finals campaign with a gritty 6-4, 6-4 win over David Ferrer yesterday.
Andy Murray returns to David Ferrer yesterday. Pic/AFP
Former Wimbledon champion Murray has made it clear his main priority in the closing weeks of the season is Great Britain's attempt to win the Davis Cup for the first time since 1936 in their first final since 1978.
Britain face Belgium in the final on clay in Ghent next week and Murray had initially suggested he might pull out of the Tour Finals to fine-tune his preparations for the Davis Cup.
After learning of potential sanctions from the ATP if he withdrew, Murray settled for spending most of last week practising his clay-court game across London at Queen's Club before arriving at the O2 on Friday.
It was hardly ideal preparation and inevitably Murray's commitment against Ferrer was under close scrutiny from cynics who doubted whether the world number two really wanted to risk injury with the Davis Cup just around the corner.
Roger crushes Berdych
Meanwhile, Roger Federer cruised to a 6-4, 6-2 win against Tomas Berdych on Sunday. To cap an enjoyable day for Federer, he was presented with an award as the fans' favourite player in 2015 and he said: "I enjoy getting awards, especially the ones that are awarded by the fans. I look forward to your support."