Belfast Telegraph

Andy Murray too hot for Robin Soderling

Andy Murray started his Barclays ATP World Tour campaign in the best possible fashion with a 6-2 6-4 victory over Robin Soderling in the opening singles clash in front of a 17,500 full house at the O2 Arena in London yesterday.

The 23-year-old produced a near-flawless performance in the first set and then secured the crucial break of serve in the seventh game of the second to see off a dangerous opponent with the minimum of fuss.

The Scot said: “I was pretty excited. It was important to get off to a good start. I managed to hit some good passing shots when I needed to and managed to come through.

“I think tactically it was a great match. I think I played very smart tennis.

“It was getting tough in the second set, a lot of long rallies, and I was on the defensive quite a lot but I stuck to my tactics well and managed to come through.

“The court is really slow for an indoor court. I used the slice really well, it was staying pretty low, and played a lot of drop-shots which some of the commentators don't like, but they worked.”

Soderling had no complaints about the emphatic nature of Murray's win.

“He served really well. Maybe that's the only thing I was a little bit surprised with.

“He was putting a lot of first serves in. And he was defending really well,” he said.

“I think 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,” added the Swede.

Murray is in action again tomorrow afternoon against Roger Federer who beat Spain's David Ferrer 6-1 6-4 in last night’s match.

Meanwhile, Irish number one Conor Niland won the final of the €42,500 Salzburg Indoor Open, defeating the unseeded Jerzy Janowicz of Poland 7-6 |6-7 6-3 in the final.

After winning yesterday’s event and reaching the semi-finals of the Loughborough Challenger last weekend, Niland will reach a career high ranking of 126 when the new ATP Rankings are published today.

He picked up a total of 80 points by winning yesterday’s final and collected prize money of €6,150.

Niland, seeded eight, reached the final after the number two seed Karol Beck withdrew with a foot injury on Saturday morning. In the quarter-finals Niland had defeated Spain’s Ivan Navarro 7-5 6-3.

Determined to break into the top 100, Niland now moves on to Japan for the Dunlop World Challenger event where he is seeded number two.

He faces qualifier Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan in the first round tomorrow

Belfast Telegraph

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