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Andy Murray v Robin Soderling - as it happened

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By Mike Henson


1549: Murray also stressed that a straight-sets win may prove important if the standings prove as close as they did last year. He missed out on a top two group placing and the semi-finals on count-back if you remember. Roger Federer is the big draw for the evening session. He will be taking on David Ferrer in the second of Group B's opening matches at around 2000 GMT. I'll be back for that one, in the meantime, Piers' match report is up for your perusal.

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Mad_for_Chelsea on 606: "Perfect start for Murray, made a tricky match look very easy"

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BBC Sport's Piers Newbery on Twitter: " A brilliant effort from Murrray as he wins 6-2 6-4 and he looks rightly thrilled by that performance. Robin, not exactly chuffed. "

1543: "I managed to play a lot of long rallies and hit some passing shots when I needed to. The court is really slow for an indoor court so I used the slice pretty well and played a lot of drop-shots which some of the commentators don't like," Murray tells the crowd in his on-court interview.

Murray 6-2 6-4 Soderling
Soderling volleys into the net and it is not the first time he has done that today by a long stroke. 30-0. Murray rolls a passing forehand into the open court to set up three match points. Soderling faces down the first, but punts long on the second and it is all over with a jumping fist-pump and a big bellow from Murray. That was impressive stuff from Murray, maybe an early exit at Paris was a bit of a blessing for him.

*Murray 6-2 5-4 Soderling
After Soderling takes the first two points, some misfiring lasers briefly appears on the court surface. But the stage manager turns them off somewhere up in the gods at the O2 and the Swede defends his serve to love. Murray will have to do it on his own serve then...

Murray 6-2 5-3 Soderling*
Murray's 10th aces whistles in to give him 40-15 and after scraping back a deep Soderling shot off his second serve, he screws a lovely winner down the line from a crouched position to leave Soderling serving to stay in the match.

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BBC Sport's Piers Newbery on Twitter: " Great start for Murray, the crowd was a bit quiet early on but livened up by the Briton's form. That smash return was just silly... "

*Murray 6-2 4-3 Soderling
Soderling is looking a little stressed as he is taken to 0-30 and his mood is not improved as he is suckered into the net by Murray and sees a delicious forehand whip past to set up three break points for Murray. The first is salvaged with a precise forehand volley, but he cracks under the pressure to hand a potentially vital break to Murray.

Murray 6-2 3-3 Soderling*
A Murray backhand heads wide to give Soderling some early encouragement, but finds his range with a similar shot in the next rally. An ace follows, but Soderling strikes back and has his first break point at 30-40. Murray rummages around and finds another ace from the back of the top drawer, and Soderling is left swiping at thin air in frustration after netting a second serve return to hand Murray advantage. The Scot is knocked back to deuce but hammers away a smash to earn a second chance. He almost runs down a cute angled shot from Soderling to take it, but clinches a third opportunity with an ace after the Swede volleys sloppily into the net.

*Murray 6-2 3-2 Soderling
Time for Soderling's nerves to be tested. He drops to 0-15 and misses he subsequent first serve, but eventually exhausts a scurrying Murray's energy reserves to get back to 15-15. A sweeping backhand moves Soderling to 40-15 and Murray pulls up on a backhand to hand the game to his opponent. By the way on BBC Two Andrew Castle reveals that Peter Gabriel of Genesis fame once served into his neck when they were playing doubles together. Apparently he made him a cup of tea to apologise, which is nice.

Murray 6-2 2-2 Soderling*
Murray gives his drop-shot another airing but this one dies on its way to the net for 15-15. Murray is forced onto the offensive to pull back to 30-30. Both players really giving their opponent's serve a working over here. Soderling ventures to the net and squanders a good volley chance on his backhand and may rue that as he goes long in the next point to let Murray off the hook.

*Murray 6-2 1-2 Soderling
Soderling limp drop-shot nestles in the net to give Murray 0-30, and the Scot makes Soderling work desperately hard to get 30-15 ahead. At 30-30 there is the match's first HawkEye challenge as Murray unsuccessfully questions a Soderling winner, but he doesn't need to query the next one with clear blue court between the Swede next shot and the line. Having forced his way to deuce, Murray can't keep up the battle though and is seen off swiftly in the last two points.


Murray 6-2 1-1 Soderling*
Soderling wins his fifth successive point to go 0-15 up but then sprays a forehand inches wide with Murray just an onlooker. Murray steps in to pump a backhand down the line and edge ahead but Soderling pegs him back once more to 30-30. The Swede is battling hard here. He goes long on the next point, but pushes Murray back and forth to make deuce. Soderling looks to have the upper hand in the next rally, but his smash is brilliantly patted back to make it advantage Murray and an ace follows.

*Murray 6-2 0-1 Soderling
Soderling slaps down Murray's attempted lob to take the opening point of the second set and then a bruising serve takes the next. He finishes with another ace and takes a slurp of water en route to the opposite end.

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Murray 6-2 Soderling*
Murray's opening serves kicks out wide for an ace, but Soderling advances to the net behind a series of good groundstrokes to level it up at 15-15. A Murray double-fault lets him back in again at 30-30, but Murray scampers to good effect to keep the ball coming back and eventually eke out a mistake from a frustrated Soderling for a first set point. He does not take that one, but a cheeky forehand drop-shot wraps it all up and he is one set up with just a smidge over half an hour gone.

*Murray 5-2 Soderling
A backhand return from Soderling's second serve stays low and Murray goes 15-30 up. A corking forehand down the line then brings up two break points. Soderling misses his first serve and, after an undercooked second serve, plants a backhand into the top of the net and Murray will serving for the opener next.

Murray 4-2 Soderling*
Murray looks to have found his range with his drop-shot as a backhand slice brings up 30-0. Could see plenty more of those as the match progresses. He shows there is plenty of power too with a 132mph ace that flashes past a groping Soderling.

*Murray 3-2 Soderling
Three big serves from Soderling and he looks all set to take the game to love but rips a big forehand into the net. Murray takes it to 40-30 with a beautiful little forehand drop that finally sticks on the surface, but his reprieve is only temporary as Soderling crashes home a high forehand.

Murray 3-1 Soderling*
Murray takes the first two points in straightforward style, but is then surprised by a Soderling return that sneaks over. He responds with a drop-shot, but Soderling is well on his way and meets it with a delicate one of his own for the point. A Murray ace follows, and after another drop-shot fails to come off, another ace seals it.

*Murray 2-1 Soderling
In a twinkle the Scot has three break points after chasing down a drop-volley. He comes within a whisker of taking the second as he cranks his wrist round a forehand pass that lands just outside the line, but there is no mercy on the third as he slaps away a winner. Well, well.

Murray 1-1 Soderling*
A sweetly struck forehand down the line is a clean winner for Murray, before a second-serve ace moves him to 40-0. Looks for a moment like he has sealed it with an ace but he is called back for a nick on the net cord and duly double faults. But it is only a temporary hold-up and he is now level.

*Murray 0-1 Soderling
Soderling's big serve hoovers up the first two points, before one of his forehands drifts long and a double-fault pulls it back to 30-30. But the big man puts away a forehand volley that Murray is unlucky not to get back after guessing right and then slams down another big serve to take the game.
* denotes NEXT to serve

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1411: Murray is sporting some nice paisley check, while Soderling has gone for some bright yellow go-faster stripes to propel him round the court. The pair are swatting a few balls back and forth at the moment.

1409: It is London Calling by the Clash on the CD player as both players stroll to court accompanied by a lot of dry ice and an under-sized mascot clutching an over-sized tennis ball.

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BBC Sport's Piers Newbery on Twitter: "So come on then, Murray v Soderling - who's going to win? I think Big Rob is the favourite on form, ranking, head-to-head, O2 record... "
Piers is the man on the ground at the O2 for today and much of this week.

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1404: If you can't make it to the East End of London, then the next best place is here, amongst fellow tennis fans. You can get involved via text on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) with TENNIS before your message, or on an already buzzing 606.

1359: The Bryan brothers, Mike and Bob, have been warming up the crowd with a chest-bumping 6-3 7-5 doubles win over Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner. And later this evening, at around 2000 GMT, I'll be back with coverage of the match between the other two players in this four-man Group B, Roger Federer and David Ferrer. But down to business, the 02's PA system has been blaring some patriotic Proclaimers and Murray is due out on court any minute.


1355: Good afternoon everyone. About six different shades of blue, dramatic entrances, and enough musical bells and whistles to hold the attention of even the most concentration-deficient spectator, it is time to get the World Tour Finals under way. We have been thrown a tasty little encounter to get the ball rolling with British number one Andy Murray taking on Robin Soderling. The Swede, fresh from winning the Paris Masters, pinched Murray's number four world ranking on Monday. He'll want that back before he starts the hard work in Miami ahead of next season. You can watch how it shakes down at the top of this page if you are using the web, and on BBC Two, if you have a television to hand.



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see also
Murray focused on winning start
19 Nov 10 |  Tennis
Murray near major win - Rusedski
21 Nov 10 |  Tennis


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