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Injured Murray falls to Ferrer in O2 opener

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Originally published on: 21/11/11 16:47

Andy Murray’s hopes of winning his biggest title yet at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals are in the balance after the Scot admitted he is struggling with a groin injury.

Murray suffered a disappointing straight sets loss to David Ferrer at the O2 Arena and to compound the two-hour 6-4 7-5 defeat, the world No.3 was treated for a groin problem that could bring a premature end to his campaign.

“I had a problem with my groin. I have to see how it goes tomorrow,” the Scot told the press of an injury he picked up shortly after losing to Tomas Berdych at the BNP Paribas Masters. “I didn’t know exactly how it was going to feel on the court today. I haven’t been able to do much training this week.”

Murray, sporting fluorescent shorts so red it’s a good thing a Spanish terrier occupied the opposing end of the court and not a bull, looked flat throughout his opening clash, but did draw first blood with a break in the third game.    

But Ferrer, who has recorded three wins over Murray in their eight previous meetings, broke straight back, held serve and ultimately broke again at 5-4 up to seal the first set in 68 minutes.    

It wasn’t just the shorts that looked off colour for the British No.1, who called the trainer on court for a rigorous physio session on his troublesome groin as Ferrer trotted off to the toilet to plot his tactics for set two.    

Ahead of the bout, Ferrer had managed 45 wins to just one loss after winning the first set this season, but he was caught dwelling on his advantage as Murray scored an immediate break and held for a 2-0 lead in the second.

Hopeful signs of a Murray revival were soon dented for the home crowd when the Spaniard plopped up a seemingly simple lob at 0-30 on Murray’s serve, only for the backpedalling Scot to skew a smash in to the tramlines, before handing back the break with a backhand long.    

The pair traded more breaks and Ferrer had victory in his sights at 6-4 5-4, but the Spaniard, who failed to win a single match in his 2010 campaign at the O2, had to wait another two games to secure victory, ultimately doing so after chasing down a floated drop shot before pinning Murray into the corner.

“I’m very happy, no?” Ferrer said post match, and aware of Murray’s physical problems on court, added: “I think maybe he had a little bit problems, but not too many strong problems, no, because he can play all the match.”

The little man certainly out-hustled the world No.3, a scenario to which Murray’s friend David Haye, watching from the stands, could relate.

In the end the stats told the story, Ferrer’s 13 winners to 18 unforced errors made for better reading than Murray’s numbers of 21- 44.

Round one to Mr Consistency. Worrying signs for the Scot.

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