x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Andy Murray in a more relaxed frame of mind for London

US Open victory has taken pressure off the world's No 3 tennis player ahead of the ATP World Tour Finals.

Andy Murray will face Tomas Berdych tomorrow. Clive Brunskill / Getty Images
Andy Murray will face Tomas Berdych tomorrow. Clive Brunskill / Getty Images

LONDON // Andy Murray has set his sights on capping a glorious year by winning the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals on home turf at London's O2 Arena.

After spending much of his career struggling to break the vice-like grip Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic held on the sport's top prizes, Murray has finally earned the right to be regarded as an equal to those three giants after a remarkable five months.

In July, the 25 year old became the first Briton to reach the Wimbledon final since 1938 and although Murray wept tears of frustration on Centre Court after Federer took the title, that run proved a defining moment.

Murray came back to Wimbledon for the Olympics just weeks later and thrashed Federer in straights sets to take the gold medal in the men's singles final.

With the confidence from that triumph, Murray headed to New York, where he ended his long wait to win a first grand slam title by defeating Novak Djokovic over five dramatic sets in the US Open final in September.

Now Murray returns to play in front of a British crowd for the first time since his US Open breakthrough.

"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," Murray said.

"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. Against all the guys here you're going to have to play a top-quality match to win."

The tournament usually features the top eight players in the world rankings, although Nadal is continuing his recovery from a knee injury, handing Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic a place in the draw.

Murray is in Group A along with Djokovic, Tomas Berdych and last year's runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and it is Berdych who will be the world No 3's first opponent today.

Federer, the defending champion, takes on Tipsarevic while David Ferrer and Juan Martin del Potro are also in Group B.

Federer has won the Tour Finals a record six times and he underlined his desire to add a seventh crown when he pulled out of the Paris Masters at the last minute to rest ahead of his trip to London.

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