Djokovic fights back to beat Murray at Tour Finals

Wed Nov 7, 2012 6:25pm EST
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic squeezed past Britain's Andy Murray in the latest chapter of their evolving rivalry on Wednesday but ended the day still uncertain of place in the last four at the ATP World Tour Finals after Tomas Berdych overpowered Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Once again there was barely a cigarette paper between the two 25-year-olds as Djokovic chiseled out a 4-6 6-3 7-5 victory to take command of Group A at the season-ending showdown.

Victory for Tsonga later against Berdych would have guaranteed Djokovic a top-two finish in the group and progress to the semis but Berdych's 7-5 3-6 6-1 victory means all four players, even winless Tsonga, could still qualify.

Djokovic, who has two wins from two matches, faces Berdych on Friday when victory would guarantee top spot in the group. Murray, who like Berdych has one win, plays Tsonga knowing a straight-sets victory would clinch a semi-final spot.

"I don't like mathematics," fifth seed Berdych told reporters when asked about the various scenarios that could unfold when the group concludes on Friday.

"Tennis is not like football when you can play for a draw in the match. It's one or the other, that's it."

The last thing on the minds of Djokovic and Murray earlier were sets percentages and games countbacks as they set about each other with the sort of relish that marks out their duels as "must see" matches.

Apart from the opening set when world number three Murray could do no wrong, the quality did not quite reach the heights of this year's Australian Open semi-final or the U.S. Open final, but it was riveting fare all the same.   Continued...

Serbia's Novak Djokovic hits a return to Britain's Andy Murray during their men's singles tennis match at the ATP World Tour Finals in the O2 Arena in London November 7, 2012. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez