Andy Murray began preparations for Great Britain's first Davis Cup final for 37 years in earnest with a workmanlike victory over David Ferrer in his opening match at the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London. The Scot was given a thorough workout but completed a 6-4 6-4 victory as Ferrer struggled with his serve throughout.
Murray is now one round robin victory away from finishing the year as the world number two following a seventh win in eight meetings with the Spaniard, who now faces an uphill task to reach the semi-final. After four days practising on clay at Queen's ahead of the Davis Cup final against Belgium in Ghent, Murray adapted to the hard court in Greenwich with ease as he looks to reach the knock-out phase for a fourth time.
The former Wimbledon and US Open champion kept out a break point in the opening game and never looked back in his pursuit of the first set. Murray missed four break point chances across games four and eight as Ferrer toiled with his ball toss which led to a string of double faults.
Those problems returned with Murray leading 5-4 as he converted the first of two break chances to take the opening set. The number seven seed was, however, unperturbed and produced a break in the very first game of the second set to storm back into the contest, but it was a rare glimmer of hope for the former French Open finalist.
Ferrer continued to suffer problems with his serve, with eight double faults flowing from his racquet and, amid some engrossing rallies, Murray took control. Though Ferrer held serve at 4-4, the momentum was firmly with the British number one and it was no surprise when he converted the first of two match points with an overhead volley to secure victory and blow away the cobwebs ahead of a testing fortnight.