LONDON — Instead of practicing on clay for this month’s Davis Cup final, Andy Murray is playing on a hard court.
The second-seeded Murray won his opening match at the season-ending ATP finals on Monday, beating David Ferrer 6-4, 6-4 less than two weeks before he will lead Britain against Belgium in the Davis Cup.
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Unlike the ATP finals, which is being played on an indoor hard court at the O2 Arena, the best-of-five series in Gent from Nov. 27-29 will be played on indoor clay.
And although the surface may not be in his favor, history could be.
Britain has not won the Davis Cup title since 1936, when Fred Perry was the team’s star player. Perry was also the last British man to win the men’s title at Wimbledon that same year, until Murray came along.
On Monday, Murray was able to win with plenty of help from Ferrer’s serve. The seventh-seeded Spaniard had eight double-faults and landed only 49 percent of his first serves.
"I serve bad the end of the first set and also in the second set," Ferrer said. "Anyway, in important moments he was better than me. He played more aggressive than me."
Murray broke Ferrer to win the first set, getting his final point on the Spaniard’s second double-fault of the game.
Although Ferrer broke to open the second set in the following game, Murray slowly fought back as Ferrer continued to struggle to get the ball in play. Murray ended up winning 19 of the 32 points off Ferrer’s second serve.
In the late match, Rafael Nadal will take on French Open champion Stan Wawrinka.