Murray beats Soderling at ATP finals

November 21, 2010 11:01 AM
LONDON (AP) - Andy Murray won his first match at the ATP World Tour Finals, beating Robin Soderling 6-2, 6-4 Sunday on the opening day of the season-ending event.
The fifth-ranked Murray, who dropped below No. 4 Soderling in last week's rankings, kept the ball away from the Swede's strong forehand on the indoor court at the O2 Arena.
"I played very smart tennis today," Murray said. "And even when obviously it was getting tough in the second set, a lot of long rallies, I was on the defensive quite a lot, stuck to my tactics well and managed to come through."
Soderling, who again reached the French Open final this year and won the Paris Masters for the first time, had only five forehand winners while committing 12 unforced errors with his often dominating shot.
"He was defending really well," Soderling said. "I was hitting the ball pretty hard sometimes, trying to be aggressive. Every time I came to the net, he came up with a really good shot."
Murray looked to be the more solid player throughout, facing only one break point in the match while converting three of his six.
The Briton earned his first break early in the match, hitting a backhand winner off Soderling's serve to make it 2-1. He converted another to make it 5-2 and then served out the first set with a drop shot that hit the line.
"First set was not very good. I wasn't really there," Soderling said. "I think second set was better. But he played better than me today."
In the second set, the pair traded games until 3-3, when Murray broke again soon after taking a 0-40 lead in the seventh game.
"Second set I had to do a lot of running," Murray said. "Didn't always go for the lines. I hit a lot down to his feet, just made him play a lot of uncomfortable shots."
Murray and Soderling are in Group B along with Roger Federer and David Ferrer, who play later Sunday in the round-robin tournament.
Group A will take the court Monday with top-ranked Rafael Nadal facing Andy Roddick and Novak Djokovic playing Tomas Berdych.
In doubles, top-ranked Bob and Mike Bryan of the United States defeated Jurgen Melzer of Austria and Philipp Petzschner of Germany 6-3, 7-5.