Ignorance is bliss for victorious Murray

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Andy Murray, pictured, was unaware he only needed to win a set in his victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to reach the semi-finals Andy Murray, pictured, was unaware he only needed to win a set in his victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to reach the semi-finals

Andy Murray was determined to avoid drama at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and he managed it - despite the best efforts of coach Ivan Lendl.

Novak Djokovic's victory over Tomas Berdych earlier in the day meant Murray only needed to win a set against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to reach the semi-finals, something he had avoided finding out until Lendl inadvertently told him.

The Scot, who eventually won 6-2 7-6 (7/3), said: "When we chatted before the match, he said, 'Just focus on trying to win the match, don't think about winning one set, just try and concentrate on winning the match.' I didn't know exactly what I needed to do. But obviously when he said that, I kind of realised."

He added: "Then I just asked the umpire at the change of ends after the first set whether I was through or not. He said I was. That was it."

Murray has been caught out by the vagaries of the round-robin system before, particularly in 2009 when he won two matches out of three but lost out by one game, while two years ago he also needed to win a set against David Ferrer and began nervously.

There were no alarms at all this time as Murray, helped by some woeful errors from Tsonga, won the first four games and then served out the set to book his passage.

Both players appeared to want the match over quickly, with Tsonga's hopes now gone, and two double faults from the Frenchman handed Murray another break at the start of the second set. But Tsonga, beaten by Roger Federer in the final at the O2 Arena last year, roused himself to break back in the eighth game.

That was greeted warmly by the packed crowd, which included actor Kevin Spacey and former footballer Fabrice Muamba watching courtside, who wanted to see a competitive match. Tsonga even had a set point with Murray serving at 5-6 but blazed a backhand wide and the Scot sealed victory in the tie-break with his third ace.

He did not feel knowing the scenario had been detrimental in the end, saying: "Maybe the game where I was serving for the first set would have been a little bit different.

"In some ways it feels like you're serving for the match when you know you're through if you win that. I was very focused from the start of the match. I got off to a good start. So it didn't make any difference at all."

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