Andy Murray aims to 'win back some fans' at World Tour Finals

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport at the O2 Arena
Andy Murray on ATP World Tour Finals and Strictly Come Dancing
ATP World Tour Finals, O2 Arena London, 9-16 November
Sunday: Murray v Nishikori on BBC2/website/sports extra at 14:00 GMT
Coverage: Afternoon sessions (14:00 GMT) and first semi-final (14:00 GMT) on BBC Two & BBC website, final on BBC Three & BBC website (19:00 GMT); live commentary of each match on 5 live sports extra, live text commentary on BBC website

Andy Murray hopes the crowd will get behind him when he returns to action in the UK at the ATP World Tour Finals.

The Briton will begin his campaign against Japan's Kei Nishikori at London's O2 Arena on Sunday.

It will be Murray's first match in the UK since he backed Scottish independence in September.

"The crowd has always given me very good support when I've played here and at Wimbledon and Queen's throughout my whole career," he said.

He added: "So I hope this week that's the same but if not, I'll do my job, I'll give my best effort regardless and hopefully win back some fans this week."

BBC Sport tennis correspondent Russell Fuller:
The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals are the next biggest test outside the Slams, and there is every incentive for Murray in London this week. Forced to withdraw from the event last year as he began his rehab, and to pull out after just one match in 2011 because of a groin injury, Murray would love to reach the final for the first time. And if he did, he would give himself a chance of ending the year at four in the world, which in turn should guarantee a more palatable Australian Open draw.

Murray, 27, won three titles in a six-week stretch of tournaments as he battled to qualify for the season-ending championships and climbed back to sixth in the rankings.

"Winning matches is how you play yourself into form and that's what I needed to do at this time of year,' said the Scot.

"This week in practice I've been OK. The practices have been hard - you're practising with the best players in the world so that's always tough, but it's good."

Group B
Roger Federer (Switzerland, world number two)
Kei Nishikori (Japan, 5)
Andy Murray (Great Britain, 6)
Milos Raonic (Canada, 8)

Murray will vie with Nishikori, Roger Federer and Milos Raonic for one of the two-semi-final places from Group B.

The match against Federer will give him another chance to claim a first victory of the year over one of the top three - Novak Djokovic, Federer or Rafael Nadal.

"I was getting asked earlier in the year about not beating someone in the top 15, then it was top 12, top 10, top eight, then top five, and now obviously this is the last step," said Murray.

Andy Murray in action
Andy Murray arrives at London's O2 Arena off the back of an exhausting six-week run of tournaments

"Maybe it's a big step, but I've won against those players in the past and the more time I spend on court with them this year, the better for me next year.

"Whether I win against one of them this week or not remains to be seen, but I'll give it my best shot.

"I still believe I can win against them and that's half the battle."

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