Jamie Murray and Australian John Peers marked their debut at the ATP World Tour Finals with victory over Australian Open champions Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli in a hard-fought contest.
Murray and Peers are seeded fourth in the doubles after a superb season that saw them reach the final at both Wimbledon and the US Open. And they were in fine form in the opening match of the end-of-season tournament in London, holding their nerve to win the deciding match tie-break and clinch a 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 11-9 victory.
Murray said: “It was cool. It was a great match, a really exciting match. I think both teams played well. There was a lot of exciting points. It came down to a couple of points right at the end.
“We’re really happy to win and really excited to move on in the tournament.”
Murray is only the second British player to qualify for the doubles after Jonny Marray since the event moved to the O2 in 2009 and a good crowd was in place to watch the Scot.
Murray and Peers looked confident from the off and deservedly took the opening set on a tie-break after seeing a set point go begging in the tenth game. They recovered from 4-1 down in the second to 4-3 but a mistake from Murray gave the Italians another break and they levelled the match.
That left proceedings to be decided by a match tie-break, with the winner the first to ten points, or by two clear points thereafter.
It was nip and tuck all the way through but a smash from Peers gave him and Murray a victory that gives them a great chance of reaching the semi-finals.