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Andy Murray wins in debut as world No.1

Associated Press logo Associated Press 14/11/2016 Chris Lehourites

Taking the court as the world No.1-ranked player for the first time, Andy Murray got the job done.

The Wimbledon champion was tested for much of his opening match at the ATP finals but still came out on top, playing in his home country and beating Marin Cilic 6-3 6-2 Monday in London.

"After a long, kind of, few months, it's nice to know that I'm going to be finishing the year playing in that sort of atmosphere," Murray said.

Murray took over at the top of the rankings last week, replacing Novak Djokovic.

But the year-end No.1 ranking is up for grabs and could be decided on Sunday if both Murray and Djokovic reach the final.

The prospect of attaining that, however, doesn't seem to be weighing too heavily on Murray's mind.

"The last few days, I haven't thought about it too much," Murray said.

"It didn't change much for me."

It certainly hasn't affected his ability to win matches.

Murray has won a career-high eight titles this season, including a second Wimbledon title in July and a second straight Olympic gold medal in August.

Since then, he has won titles in Beijing, Shanghai, Vienna and Paris.

The latest victory on Monday didn't come so easy.

Murray struggled to win his service games in the first set against Cilic, but ended up saving all but one of the five break points he faced in the match. On the other side, he converted four of his five break points.

In the early match, Stan Wawrinka finally lost a match at the ATP finals to someone who hasn't been ranked No.1 in the world.

The US Open champion, who has reached the semi-finals of the season-ending tournament for the last three years, was beaten by Kei Nishikori 6-2 6-3.

"I don't think I find anything on the court today. I was a little bit slow on everything. I was hesitating a lot with my game, my movement," said Wawrinka, a three-time grand slam champion.

Wawrinka holds a 6-7 record at the tournament for the top eight players in the world, but his previous six losses were against Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal - twice to each.

Monday's loss doesn't mean Wawrinka is out of the tournament, but it hurts his chances of finishing the year as the No.3-ranked player. Wawrinka, Nishikori and Milos Raonic all have a chance to end up one spot behind Murray and Djokovic.

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