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Tennis

Murray wins epic contest against Nishikori

Andy Murray took more than three hours to win his second match at the ATP Tour Finals.
Andy Murray took more than three hours to win his second match at the ATP Tour Finals. Reuters/Paul Childs

Top seed Andy Murray came from a set down at the ATP Tour Finals on Wednesday night to beat fifth seed Kei Nishikori.

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Murray won 6-7 6-4 6-4 after three hours and 20 minutes to take him to the brink of the semi-finals. His place in the last four is still in doubt because the third seed Stan Wawrinka beat Marin Cilic.

Murray, who is aiming to finish the year as world number one, will play the final match of the group stages on Friday against Wawrinka.

"I just fought really hard," said Murray after the win. "Kei was making me run but I eventually got over the line. These are the sort of matches you work so hard for. I feel OK right now, but it's the following day when you feel it often.

"Hopefully there will be another few days to this season and I'll do my best to get through them."

Murray vies with Djokovic

To guarantee finishing 2016 in top spot, Murray must equal the results of the second seed Novak Djokovic, who has won the tournament for the last four years.

In a thrilling first set tie-break, Murray came from 3-6 down and saved four set points. But he was unable to exploit two set points of his own. Nishikori finally sealed the breaker 11 points to 9.

The Japanese star can still reach the last four if he beats Cilic on Friday and Murray gets past Wawrinka.

"I played really consistent, with good energy and I'm definitely disappointed to lose," said Nishikori. "But there's much to play for, so I'll try to be ready for that."

He added: "I'm sure Andy's going to qualify from the group and I'll try to aim for the second spot."

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