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Murray swaps Mario Kart for impromptu Djokovic match

Nick Atkin at the O2 Arena
November 16, 2014
Andy Murray was beaten 8-5 by Novak Djokovic in the one-set match © Getty Images

Andy Murray clearly had a lazy Sunday in mind when he woke up today, with a game of Mario Kart on his sofa the main item on his agenda.

It was time to relax and unwind after a 6-0 6-1 thrashing by Roger Federer on Friday ended his World Tour Finals early. However, after Federer pulled out of Sunday's title match with a back injury, Murray received a shock call from the ATP.

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Murray put down the Nintendo controller to charge to the rescue at the O2 Arena, facing Novak Djokovic in a one-set exhibition match.

Djokovic, who was crowned champion in London for the third consecutive year after Federer's withdrawal, won the match 8-5, and Murray admitted he was having a better time of it with Mario and co.

"I was playing Mario Kart on my sofa when I got the call," Murray revealed after the match. "I was winning at that. Mario Kart is better than my tennis.

"I have to apologise because I clearly pushed Roger so hard on thursday!"

He added: "It's very tough, it's a problem with individual sports - someone gets hurt you can be left in situations like this. I'm glad I could be able to help but it's a shame for everyone that came out."

Murray was eliminated from the World Tour Finals after a 6-0 6-1 thrashing by Roger Federer © Getty Images

ATP chief Chris Kermode confirmed that Murray did not ask for a fee to play, but Murray himself revealed he cut a different kind of deal with best friend Ross Hutchins - whose wedding he will be best man at next week.

"I said to him if I come out and play today can I cut a couple of minutes off the speech," said Murray. "He said that's fine, I'll keep it nice and short."

Asked if his speech was going to be funny, Murray didn't seem too optimistic. He simply replied: "Hmm."

Djokovic's Sunday afternoon was going slightly differently to Murray's, of course, before the news of Federer's withdrawal broke.

"I wasn't playing videogames when I received the news today, I was preparing myself for the last match of the season," Djokovic said. "I did my warm up. During the doubles match I heard Roger had troubles with the back and he's not able to play.

"It's disappointing news, but I want to thank Andy, he made a great effort to come out here."

Murray also took part in an exhibition match with John McEnroe against Pat Cash and Tim Henman © Getty Images
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