Murray prepares for Verdasco test
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:56
The British number one’s three-set defeat by Roger Federer at London’s O2 Arena on Tuesday threw Group A wide open, with all four players still in contention for the two semi-final spots. A straight-sets victory would put Murray through while a straight-sets defeat would see him eliminated, but any other result would leave him waiting on the outcome of the night match between Federer and Juan Martin del Potro.
“The only important thing is to try and qualify from the group, whether you win one match, three matches, two matches,” he said. “Last year I won three, lost in the semis. This year I could potentially lose two matches and win the tournament. So you just never know.”
He added: “The match against Verdasco, obviously I’ll try and win. If I do that, there’s a good chance I go through.”
Rafael Nadal’s fate was sealed with a 6-1 7-6 (7/4) defeat by Nikolay Davydenko on Wednesday night, which followed on from his 6-4 6-4 loss to Robin Soderling on Monday.
The world number two, though, saw positive signs in his second-set fightback and is optimistic 2010 will see him rediscover his best form.
“I think mentally I was better,” he said. “That’s the important thing, that I improved a little bit. Every day I’m trying a little bit more. I am ready to practise hard. I have motivation to play another time my best tennis.
“I think without playing very good tennis in all the matches, I had my chances against the best players of the world,” he added.
Davydenko, who lost to Novak Djokovic in last year’s final, is playing at the end-of-season tournament for the fifth successive year but he remains much less high profile than many of his rivals – and that is just the way he likes it.
“It was Nadal, Nadal, Nadal,” he said. “It’s good. That way I have no pressure and I can play my tennis. I show my best tennis and I win. If nobody is waiting (for me to win), maybe it’s good for me and easier to win the tournament.”