Andy Murray believes he is now back to being capable of taking on the world's elite players after his remarkable comeback from injury in 2019.

Murray looked set to retire due to injury earlier in the year, but after undergoing successful hip surgery, crowned his return by winning the European Open in Antwerp to claim his 46th ATP Tour title.

After taking the best part of a month off, Murray will now head to the Davis Cup finals as part of Great Britain's five-man team.

The 32-year-old intends step things up further in 2020 and the three-time major winner says he would be confident of pushing Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer all the way should he come up against any of the big three.

"I know if I played against the top players tomorrow there would be a very small chance of me winning that match," Murray told BBC Sport.

"But I do feel I could win. That's one of the performance goals I want - when I go out on court against all of the players I want to feel like I have a chance of winning.

"Seven or eight weeks ago I wouldn't have felt that was the case. 

"If I continued along that path then I wouldn't continue playing. It has been an up and down few years but I feel like I'm coming through the other side of it and I'm excited to see what I can do over the next couple of years.

"It's difficult to say exactly where I am. I'm not where I was when I was 25 but I don't expect to be and I don't need to be [in order] to be competitive at the highest level and that's why I'm excited.

"I'm not going to set a target of top 10 or trying to make the semis of a Grand Slam because I've done all of that before and I don't need that.

"I'm happy just being pain free, healthy and love what I'm doing."

Murray defeated Stan Wawrinka to clinch the European Open title, while the Scot overcame world number eight Matteo Berrettini on his way to the China Open quarter-finals in Beijing, where he was eventually defeated by Dominic Thiem.

Roger Federer opened his account at this year's ATP Finals at the second attempt, beating Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 on Tuesday.

Having started out with a loss to Dominic Thiem on Sunday, Federer needed a victory over London debutant Berrettini to kick-start his campaign ahead of a showdown against Novak Djokovic in his final outing of the round-robin stage.

World number eight Berrettini, who was easily brushed aside by Djokovic at the weekend, put up stubborn resistance in the opening set but the 23-year-old was too often found wanting against his opponent’s serve.

Federer was far more dominant in the second, the six-time champion securing victory after 78 minutes on court in the English capital.

"It's strange to lose and then play again, but I did it last year so have some experience," Federer said. "It was always going to be difficult against Matteo, with the big serve.

"I was pretty clean on my own service game, I think that helped. I hope I can keep it up and maybe play a bit better in the next match."

Berrettini played a brilliant pass in game five as both players held serve comfortably in the early stages.

Indeed, it was not until Federer was 6-5 up that either player had a chance to break, though the 38-year-old failed to take advantage, Berrettini clawing back the set point to draw level again.

Federer made the first move in the tie-break, Berrettini slipping up with a forehand to give his opponent the lead, while an exquisite backhand put the 20-time grand slam champion further ahead – much to the delight of the O2 crowd.

A double fault further dashed Berrettini's hopes, with Federer subsequently wrapping up the 43-minute set on his own serve.

The world number three broke to love to open the next in style and though the Italian stopped the rot with a lob, a supreme drop shot maintained Federer's two-game cushion.

Federer's focus seemed to slip on his next serve, however, and he had to claw back three break points before finally taking a lengthy game.

A sliced forehand from his rival secured victory for the Swiss, who has not won the season-ending tournament since 2011.

Andy Murray feels grand slam events could give him the best chance of success now he has made his comeback from injury.

The three-time major winner marked his return from career-saving hip surgery by winning his 46th ATP Tour title at the European Open last month.

That emotional triumph and the way his body has been reacted to regular matches has given Murray confidence he can be competitive at the highest level.

While he has already won a regular ATP Tour event, Murray feels the slams could work in his favour even more in 2020 because of the extra recovery time they provide in between matches.

"Your body gets a chance to rest up before the next match," Murray told reporters at a Castore sponsorship event. 

"Sometimes in Antwerp where you're playing back-to-back days there was no chance to do that. 

"My physio has always been more positive about me playing grand slams than playing a tournament when you play five days in a row.

"He loves the fact that there's a day off to rest and actually recover.

"I guess I'll see how it responds when I'm over there [at the Australian Open]."

At this stage, the prospect of playing longer matches at majors is not a major concern for Murray, who also discussed his plans to have a flexible schedule going forward.

The Briton added: "I'm not worried from the hip's perspective as I've had zero issues with it so far so I don't anticipate that playing an extra 45 minutes or an hour will be bad for my hip. 

"How the rest of my body how that responds, I'll see when I'm out there.

"I think my body showed I'm going to be able to play at a high level. That's where I need to be smart with my scheduling and the amount of tournaments that I play, to be more reactive than in the past.

"Let's say I plan to play three tournaments in the first couple of months of the year but I only win one match in each of those tournaments, then I could add another. But if I end up doing really well, maybe I play a tournament less. In the past I wouldn't have done that."

While Murray, who is preparing to fly to Madrid for next week's Davis Cup finals, is optimistic about competing at the top, that is no longer his most important consideration.

Asked where he would like to be in 12 months, the 32-year-old added: "I would want to be healthy.

"It's nice to be able to win big competitions and have a high ranking and stuff. That's great but actually the reason why I'm playing is because I love it. I need to remember that and being healthy allows me to do that.

"So if I'm 30 in the world or 70 in the world and I'm still enjoying it and I feel competitive then that would be success for me. You realise what really is important." 

Rafael Nadal succumbed to defending ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev as the world number seven put in a clinical display to triumph 6-2 6-4.

Heading into this year's season finale with concerns over an abdominal problem, Nadal showed no signs of struggling with injury, but the world number one could still not handle Zverev on Monday.

While Novak Djokovic - who Nadal ousted at the top of the rankings last week - started in dominant fashion against Matteo Berrettini, Nadal suffered a similar fate to that of Roger Federer, who went down to Dominic Thiem in his opening match.

Three successive breaks ultimately did the damage for Zverev, as the 22-year-old claimed a maiden win over Nadal to make a statement of intent in London.

"It's great, everyone knows how much I've been struggling this season," Zverev, who will also face Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev in Group Andre Agassi said. "This means so much, playing here again after winning my biggest title here last year."

Any concerns over Nadal's fitness were cast aside with the first serve of the match - a venomous 126mph effort at the start of a game the 33-year-old claimed with relative ease.

But having made Nadal work far harder to hold his next serve, Zverev, who utilised the speed of the court to his advantage throughout, made the first of three straight breaks to take control.

Last year's winner stepped up another level in game seven, using a challenge well after a fantastic down-the-line forehand had been called out as Nadal conceded serve once more.

Having served out a 35-minute first set, Zverev needed no second invitation to take a third break point and - after rallying back from two double faults - held a 2-0 lead in set two.

Nadal finally regained his composure, and after holding to end his losing streak, the 19-time grand slam champion sent a sublime backhand pass to spark the O2 crowd into life.

A backhand into the net saw Zverev squander a break point for the first time - Nadal taking advantage to hold serve and keep himself in contention.

Yet Zverev had victory in his sights, though he lost some control on his first serve to hand Nadal hope of a break.

An impeccable, ripping forehand put him on the cusp, however, with the German duly serving out a first win over his Spanish counterpart in six attempts.

Stefanos Tsitsipas has claimed his 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 win over Daniil Medvedev at the ATP Finals "means more than extra".

The pair have both enjoyed terrific campaigns in 2019 - while Medvedev has won four titles and made it to a further five finals, including in the US Open, 21-year-old Tsitsipas has cemented himself in the world's top 10.

However, it is no secret Tsitsipas and Medvedev do not see eye to eye, a rivalry which was established in March 2018 during their first meeting.

Medvedev came from behind to win, but was unhappy with his Greek opponent for a heated handshake, with the umpire forced to intervene.

Tsitsipas' triumph on Monday is his first in six attempts against Medvedev, who has won 29 of his last 34 matches and was in the hunt for a 60th tour-level win of 2019.

"It means more than extra," Tsitsipas told reporters after his win. "Our chemistry definitely isn't the best."

According to Tsitsipas, their rivalry began when Medvedev complained that the youngster did not hold his hand up to apologise for a rally winning shot hitting the net during their clash in Miami last year.

"He started telling me that what I do is unsportsmanlike. I tried not to pay attention, because I knew that it was something intentional, something that he wanted to pass to me," Tsitsipas added.

"Somehow it did affect me. I did get p***** and said what I said, which I do regret, but at the time I was very frustrated that things happened this way."

World number four Medvedev, meanwhile, acknowledged the better player won at the O2 Arena on Monday.

"He was better today, but I felt like I was missing some things." the Russian told reporters. 

"This frustrates me after. I do think it would frustrate me against any other opponent. Of course I wanted to make it an even bigger head-to-head, but it's the way it is."

Stefanos Tsitsipas produced a scintillating performance to beat rival Daniil Medvedev for the first time in a battle of two ATP Finals debutants at the O2 Arena.

Medvedev had won all five encounters with Tsitsipas before the Greek finally came out on top on Monday, winning 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

Tsitsipas had a spring in his step from the start against an opponent whose game he has described as "boring" and did not face a solitary break point in the Group Andre Agassi opener.

Just the one break in the second set was enough for a fired-up Tsitsipas to seal a straight-sets victory over the fourth seed from Russia, who has been outstanding this year but faces a tough ask to reach the last four in London.

Tsitsipas started on the front foot and forced a break point in the second game, but Medvedev held to level at 1-1. 

That was the one break-point opportunity of the opening set, and it was Tsitsipas who then came out on top in a tight tie-break, punching a volley on the line for a third mini-break and letting out a roar as his opponent netted on the first set point.

There was no let-up with the high tempo in the second set as the two continued to trade blows from the baseline and demonstrate their prowess at the net.

Medvedev fended off two break points before holding for a 4-3 lead, but he gifted a relentless Tsitsipas a break point when he left a ball which landed in, and an errant backhand left him 5-4 down.

Powerful sixth seed Tsitsipas jumped for joy after serving out a match in which he won 89 per cent of points behind his first serve. 

Roger Federer blamed "first-round hiccups" for the loss to Dominic Thiem that leaves him at risk of an early exit from the ATP Finals.

Austrian Thiem completed a hat-trick of wins over the 20-time grand slam champion in 2019 with a 7-5 7-5 victory on the opening day in London.

Federer now faces a tough task to advance from Group Bjorn Borg, which also contains Novak Djokovic and Matteo Berrettini.

The 38-year-old committed 30 unenforced errors and won 11 of 22 points on his second serve in an uneven showing at the O2 Arena on Sunday.

"I thought he played well. The start definitely didn't help. That put me on the back foot a little bit," Federer said.

"But I recovered well and I thought the match was pretty even for a long period of time. I felt I had my chances. Didn't feel like I was outplayed or anything.

"Just maybe those first-round hiccups a little bit, not hitting your spots on the serve when you need to, getting into trouble early in the service games, which maybe doesn't happen later in the tournament."

Federer won the last of his six ATP Finals titles in 2011 and will have to be at his best to stay in contention for a seventh.

"It's a normal tournament from here on forward. I'm not allowed to lose anymore," the Swiss star said.

"That's how it is every week of the year for the past 20 years, so from that standpoint there is nothing new."

Both players are back in action on Tuesday as Federer faces tournament debutant Berrettini, who was no match for a dominant Djokovic.

The manner of the Serbian's 6-2 6-1 triumph and the tight schedule gives Thiem little time to savour his fifth career win over "probably the best player of all time".

"The system is pretty brutal, I would say, because I had an amazing victory," he said.

"I'm feeling great. I'm feeling now that I have a good chance to reach the semis, but if I lose on Tuesday, for example, everything is completely open again and I [would] have to worry about everything on the next match on Thursday.

"The only thing I can do is rest well [on Monday], practice well, and be fully focused again on Tuesday."

Dominic Thiem continued his dominance of Roger Federer this year with a straight-sets victory on the opening day of the ATP Finals.

Thiem had beaten the 20-time grand slam champion twice this season and completed the hat-trick with a 7-5 7-5 victory at the O2 Arena on Sunday.

The fifth-seeded Thiem has not reached the semi-finals in his three previous appearances in London, but made a confident start after Novak Djokovic beat Matteo Berrettini in the opening Group Bjorn Borg match.

Thiem served and returned superbly, improving his record against Federer to five victories and two defeats as he bids to end a fruitful 2019 by claiming a sixth title of the year.

Federer dominated the robin-round encounter between the two in this tournament last year, but was a break down after firing a forehand into the tramlines in the opening game.

The Austrian was pegged back at 2-2 when Federer forced an error with a ferocious backhand, yet the six-time champion was unable to cut out the errors and trailed 6-5 after Thiem pounced on his second serve.

Thiem served out the set with great composure and both players had a packed crowd purring as they showed their athleticism with classy winners at the net early in the second.

Federer fizzed a majestic backhand winner down the line and saved a break point before levelling at 2-2, while Thiem continued to pepper his veteran opponent with powerful, accurate ground strokes.

Thiem drew gasps with a scorching one-handed backhand winner and broke to love to lead 6-5 when Federer netted after a blistering return was arrowed at his feet.

Federer went down with a fight, but the third seed was beaten when he dumped a backhand into the net after seeing two points to get back on serve come and go.

Novak Djokovic made a superb start to his ATP Finals campaign with a dominant 6-2 6-1 triumph over tournament debutant Matteo Berrettini.

In the first match of this year's season finale, Djokovic – who is aiming to oust Rafael Nadal as world number one after he was dethroned by the Spaniard earlier this week – made a statement of intent in the Bjorn Borg group.

Five successive, clinical breaks of serve saw last year's runner up – a four-time champion at the O2 Arena – ease to an emphatic victory in just 63 minutes.

Berrettini, the last player to qualifier for the finals, walked towards the wrong exit after Djokovic's win was sealed on a first match point, and given the beating he had just taken, it was perhaps no surprise the Italian seemed slightly shocked.

"It feels great to be back in, earlier this year I had a great stay in London, played well at Wimbledon," Djokovic told BBC Sport.

"Over the years I've played really well in this arena. I've been enjoying it very much.

"It's not easy for Matteo, playing his first tour finals match, I knew he'd be a bit more nervous at the beginning, I tried to use my experience.

"I was fortunate to get the break midway through the first set. He's got big weapons with his serve and forehand but I managed to play really solid."

Djokovic beat Roger Federer in a Wimbledon final for the ages in his last appearance in London, and the Serbian was swiftly into his rhythm against world number eight Berrettini.

Having not dropped a point in the opening game, the 32-year-old forced Berrettini to deuce on his first serve before two breaks handed him the set.

Berrettini claimed a brilliant point in game two of the second set, managing to reach for a low backhand that Djokovic could only skew into the air, providing his opponent with a simple volley.

But it merely stalled Djokovic's process for a brief moment – Berrettini, who is renowned for his powerful serves, going 2-0 and a break down.

Another break for Djokovic followed, though Berrettini did capitalise on the only break point he was afforded.

It mattered little, however, Djokovic getting the better of his opponent's serve once more before rounding off the win with a controlled cross-court forehand.

Eighteen-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner claimed an incredible Next Gen Finals title with a 4-2 4-1 4-2 victory against top seed and world number 18 Alex De Minaur.

Sinner has burst onto the scene in Milan and was in no mood to let down an expectant crowd in the final on Saturday evening.

The teenager's power was simply too much for De Minaur, who could not turn early pressure in the first two sets into a breakthrough against his inexperienced opponent.

Sinner had to dig in for the first hold of the match, but the opener stayed on serve then until the sixth game.

Backed by raucous support, a stunning Sinner return teed up set point on De Minaur's serve, claimed in equally devastating fashion.

De Minaur went on the offensive again but once more found Sinner resolute, this time swift in offering a spectacular response with a second break to love of the contest in the next game as the Australian went long.

Sinner had to save break points in his subsequent two service games but saw out the set impressively, before going on the offensive again in the third.

The reeling De Minaur battled bravely but was broken in the third game as his second final defeat in two years, having lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas, moved ever closer.

More brutal Sinner serving got the job done in straight sets, and he accepted the acclaim of Italian fans revelling in this stunning sudden ascension.

Alex de Minaur and home favourite Jannik Sinner will meet to decide this year's champion at the Next Gen ATP Finals after respective semi-final triumphs over Frances Tiafoe and Miomir Kecmanovic.

Defeated by Stefanos Tsitsipas in last year's final, top seed De Minaur was on scintillating form against his good friend Tiafoe in a 4-2 4-1 0-4 4-2 victory.

The world number 18 – who has three singles titles to his name this season – hardly had to break a sweat as he took complete control in the first two sets.

Heeding the in-game advice of his coach, Tiafoe put in "unconditional effort" at 2-0 down, managing to haul himself back into contention with a supreme display in the third set.

However, De Minaur ultimately had too much firepower and, after a winner teed up match point, a stray shot into the net from Tiafoe handed the 20-year-old a second successive final appearance.

"It's difficult, but easier in some ways [to play a friend]," De Minaur said afterwards. 

"It's easy because you know that no matter what happens on the court, you're still going to be the best of friends.

"In the same manner, you've got to remember that you are opponents, I've got to get in the zone, fired up and motivated, but it worked out."

Facing the Australian in Saturday's title decider will be a favourite of the Milan crowd – 18-year-old wild card Sinner, who rallied from a set down to defeat Kecmanovic 2-4 4-1 4-2 4-2.

Some nervy shots from the world number 95 allowed his Serbian opponent to take a foothold, but Sinner – buoyed on by voracious supporters – soon regained his composure.

Successive breaks of serve across the end of set two and start of set three gave Sinner an advantage he did not relinquish and although Kecmanovic clawed back three match points in the final set, he sent a forehand return out of play to seal the Italian's progression. 

Rafael Nadal is set on ending 2019 as world number one despite doubts over his fitness heading into the ATP Finals.

Nadal overtook Novak Djokovic atop the ATP rankings on Monday but is still not certain of retaining the position at the end of the year.

Djokovic and Nadal are in opposite groups in London, with the Spaniard to face Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and in-form Daniil Medvedev – who he beat in the US Open final in a five-set epic.

The 33-year-old took to Twitter on Friday to provide an update on his fitness, stating he is "taking it day by day," after he was forced to withdraw from the Paris Masters due to an abdominal tear, though doubt remains as to whether he will be able to participate through the whole tournament in the English capital.

However, Nadal insisted he is still determined to cap off the year at the top of the rankings, should he stay fit.

"Of course I would love to be the year-end number one but I always said it was not my personal goal because I did not follow that [path]," Nadal said in a news conference at the O2.

"If I did, I would be flying to China after New York because I was in a positive position.

"But that doesn't mean I am renouncing to try to be number one. Not at all. I am fighting for it."

Nadal, whose injury has prevented him from practicing, is hopeful of being fully fit for Monday's encounter with defending ATP Finals champion Zverev.

"I'm excited to be here after a couple of years without being able to play. I need to see how things evolve every single day," he said.

"I have good hopes to be 100 per cent ready for Monday. I had been serving very well in Paris, I had good matches, so I am confident that I can be very competitive.

"Of course it's a tournament that you will face the top guys since the beginning so you need to be 100 per cent ready. 

"But I really hope I will be able to serve every single day a little better and my hope is to be on Sunday serving normal."

Roger Federer has stuck by his decision to withdraw from the inaugural ATP Cup in order to focus on rest and time with his family ahead of the 2020 season.

Federer was set to lead Switzerland at the new 24-team event, which will take place in Australia in January.

However, the 38-year-old confirmed at the end of October that he would not be taking part in the competition, with Switzerland subsequently withdrawn from contention as a result.

After skipping the Paris Masters, 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer will now look to finish his season on a high in the ATP Finals in London.

He faces world number five Dominic Thiem on Sunday, having lost in the semi-finals to eventual winner Alexander Zverev in 2018.

Ahead of the event, Federer explained he has no regrets about deciding to not push his body too much early on in 2020, allowing him to spend more time with his wife and children.

"Something had to give, that was the ATP Cup," Federer said on media day at the O2 Arena.

"I just felt I was going to be very happy to play but it wasn't that level of importance for me. That was that.

"Normally I don't take these kinds of decisions like this but I kind of got into that situation having to take a decision after Wimbledon. 

"With my wife we try to come up with a really good schedule for the kids. We wanted to be in the same place for a long time. I don't think it's contradictory at all."

Federer conceded he is taking something of a risk by not playing in a warm-up tournament before the Australian Open, but is confident his experience will allow him to cope with the physical demands of heading straight back into a grand slam.

"At the end of the day I think with age and experience I can be confident about what I do in training," Federer said. 

"I'll travel to Melbourne early to make sure I give myself the best chance to get ready. I believe I can be ready, I don't think I need a tonne of matches always, especially on the hard courts.

"Maybe I'm a bit more dependent on the draw earlier on in the Australian Open. The key is health."

After facing Thiem, Federer will also go up against Matteo Berrettini and Novak Djokovic – who was recently dethroned as world number one by Rafael Nadal – in the group stage in London.

Rafael Nadal revealed he has started serving "very slowly" and will "see how things go" as he delivered a mixed injury update ahead of the ATP Finals.

The US Open winner is in London ahead of the year-ending tournament as he recovers from an abdominal tear sustained last Saturday.

Nadal had to pull out of his Paris Masters semi-final against Denis Shapovalov after experiencing discomfort in the warm-up.

He underwent an MRI in Mallorca and declared he was planning to play the ATP Finals on Tuesday.

Nadal still indicated his determination to play in a further update provided on Friday, but explained he was taking things slowly.

He wrote on Twitter: "Update? Ok, I'm in London happy to be here. Taking it day by day after Paris (small abdominal tear).

"I need to see how things go, started serving [on Thursday] very slowly. Right now the main goal is to be ready on Monday following the protocols that the doctor gave me."

Nadal, 33, is a 19-time grand slam champion but has never won the ATP Finals, finishing as runner-up twice. He had to withdraw from last year's event due to another abdominal problem he picked up in Paris.

The Spaniard has been drawn in Group Andre Agassi this year along with Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and 2018 champion Alexander Zverev, who is scheduled to be his first opponent on Monday.

Novak Djokovic will begin the singles tournament with a Group Bjorn Borg match against Matteo Berrettini on Sunday. Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem are the other participants.

Frances Tiafoe and Miomir Kecmanovic sealed their places in the last four of the Next Gen ATP Finals with straight-sets victories on Thursday.

Tiafoe joined Jannik Sinner in progressing from Group B in Milan with a 4-2 4-2 4-2 defeat of Mikael Ymer.

Second seed Tiafoe missed out on a place in the semi-finals of the season-ending event last year when he was beaten by Jaume Munar, but was not to be denied on this occasion.

The American will face top seed Alex de Minaur, who made it three wins out of three in Group A with an emphatic 4-1 4-0 4-2 beating of Casper Ruud.

Tiafoe went on a five-game streak from 2-1 down in the first set against the Swede at Allianz Cloud and never looked back.

The 21-year-old said: "I'm pretty stoked. I needed this. The second half of this season has been rough for me, so every match is an opportunity for me.

"I love this event and I want to stay. The more you win, the longer you can stay, so I'm happy to be in the semis."

Kecmanovic advanced by seeing off Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 4-1 4-1 4-3 (8-6) in just under an hour.

The Serb will take on Sinner, who went down 4-3 (7-5) 3-4 (3-7) 4-2 4-2 to Ugo Humbert in the final round-robin match.

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