"It was great to be playing back in the UK - it gives you a real adrenaline push," said Murray. "I need to make one last effort this year. This event feels like a Major and I want to win. There is a long way to go, but this was a decent start."
Murray is now level at 4-4 with Berdych in career meetings, but it was perhaps of minimal surprise that the US Open champion, seeded third here, could not find the formula to break his Czech opponent in the opening set of the Group A match as seven break points came and went with Berdych escaping courtesy of some poignant serve-and-volley tactics.
Berdych was not so profligate as he backed up Murray with a shot that the Scotsman could not return during a probing rally on his way to breaking in the sixth game of the match achieved on only his second break point.
With a 4-2 lead, Berdych would progress to claim the first set 6-3 with the groans almost palpable among the 20,000 or so onlookers.
Murray has yet to go beyond the semi-finals of this tournament.
But there is no Rafael Nadal, who ousted him two years ago in the last four, and Murray has already accounted for Roger Federer on such a stage by winning Olympic gold this year at Wimbledon. His growing maturity was apparent as he refused to panic despite the obvious power of his opponent.
Murray continued to push and probe in the second set with Berdych looking particularly vulnerable when he failed to find the first serve. Berdych showed some real character by clawing himself back from 0-40 on his own serve trailing 2-1 in the second set, but a couple of wayward forehands at deuce handed Murray his first break at the 11th attempt. It proved to be a turning point in the match.
Murray saw out the set and needed to break Berdych only once more as the man who he ousted in the semi-finals on his way to winning the US Open wheeled a forehand wide with the scores locked at 1-1 in the third set.
Murray would encounter little heat from there on in as a professional display of serving and ball striking from deep saw him over the winning line 6-4, much to the approval of the large crowd inside the O2 at the start of the working week.
Murray had produced a workmanlike performance of no little professionalism in his first match on home soil since winning his first Grand Slam in New York.
"Both of us I thought served pretty well and weren't losing too many points on our first serve, so it can hinge on a couple of points here or there," said Murray.
"That definitely gave me the advantage in the second set. But the third set was tight as well."
The second match in Group A saw Novak Djokovic ease past Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(4) 6-3.
Group B of the tournament starts out on Tuesday with Roger Federer facing Janko Tipsarevic before the new Paris Masters winner David Ferrer meets Juan Martin del Potro.
Monday's results from the ATP World Tour finals:
1-Novak Djokovic (Serbia) beat 7-Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (France) 7-6(4) 6-3
3-Andy Murray (Great Britain) beat 5-Tomas Berdych (Czech Republic) 3-6 6-3 6-4