Stanislas Wawrinka was happy and relieved to get his ATP World Tour Finals campaign off to a winning start against Tomas Berdych.
Wawrinka, making his debut at the season-ending event in London, saw off Berdych 6-3 6-7 6-3 on Monday afternoon in the tournament opener.
The Swiss player did not drop serve during a match lasting two hours and 25 minutes, saving all five break points he faced. His only blemish came in the second-set tie-break, which Berdych won 7-0.
Wawrinka told Sky Sports: "We were both a little bit tight in the opening set but I stayed focused on my game.
"It's never easy the first time here but to beat Tomas in three sets is really, really good.
"It is only one match. I know how well I can play and I showed it today, it was a great match for me.
"Now I need to enjoy myself a little bit, watch a few matches and get ready for the next one."
On making his first appearance at the event, he said: "It was a dream come true. I've seen the event so many times on TV and today I was really happy to enter the court and get the win today."
Berdych felt the main difference was that Wawrinka took his opportunities, but he is staying upbeat about his chances.
The Czech said: "It was a very close game again. He had four break points, he made two. I had five and made zero. I think that's been really a big difference.
"The next opponents, especially on paper, look even tougher. It's not going to be easy at all. But I've been in a couple of situations here which didn't look good at all and I was able to get through the group."
The other two players in Group A, Spaniards Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer, meet on Tuesday afternoon.
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