Andy Murray beat Japan's Kei Nishikori in an epic three-set thriller lasting over three hours -- the longest ATP Finals match since records began in 1991.
With the highest win percentage on the tour this year, the world No. 1 lined up against Nishikori in fine shape. But, converting just 51% of his first serves in an error-strewn opening set, Murray handed a number of break point opportunities to the world No. 5.
A profligate Nishikori didn't take them, but nonetheless got the better of Murray in a pulsating first set tie-break...
Despite Murray rallying from 3-6 down to 7-6 up, it was Nishikori who eventually prevailed, taking the set 7-6 (11-9) after 85 minutes on court.
Such travails at the end of a long season will have been testing for both players, but it was Murray who started the second set more confidently, immediately breaking Nishikori as he attempted to wrestle back control.
Nishikori sealed a break of his own to make it 4-4, but the Brit was in no mood to be upstaged on his home turf -- quickly breaking back to gain the upper hand and eventually take it to a deciding set...
At one game apiece, the set was going with serve with Nishikori up 30-0 in the third. However, consecutive double faults altered the mood inside the 02 Arena entirely, handing the impetus to the Scotsman.
Lady luck shone on Murray once again as a looping shot deflected cruelly past his opponent handing him break point, with Nishikori's own forehand glancing the net and going wide just seconds later. Murray had his break and -- perhaps for the first time in the match -- a semblance of control
So it proved. Though Nishikori broke back once again in the final set, his efforts only served to make this marathon match a little longer. Murray prevailed, but in truth this was a match that no player deserved to lose.
In the evening match, Stan Wawrinka proved he is the man for the big occasion once again, taking a closely-fought first set from Marin Cilic in the tie-break.
The second set also went all the way to the wire, but Cilic was again no match for the Swiss No. 3, with the match finishing 7-6, 7-6.