Murray now in driving seat for ATP World Tour Finals in London
Following Andy Murray’s recent success at the Vienna Open, to win just his second tournament since lifting the famous Wimbledon trophy in 2013, the Scot is now in the top eight in the ATP Race to London. It was also his first victory over a top-eight ranked player since his SW19 triumph.
Murray crucially beat David Ferrer in the final in Austria, who knocked him out of the prior competition; the Shanghai Masters, meaning he leapfrogged the diminutive Spaniard to occupy the last final for the season-ending World Tour Finals.
The Scotsman is now just 110 points ahead of Ferrer, with the duo currently taking part in the Valencia Open, which is at latter’s home province. Murray has already seen off Jurgen Melzer in straight sets (6-3 6-3) in the first round, while ‘the Little Mosquito’ takes on Italian Andreas Seppi.
Another player from Italy represents Murray’s next opponent in this competition, in Fabio Fognini, who beat the British number one in the Davis Cup on clay to effectively knock them out this year. Murray is odds-on at 1/8 to beat Fognini this time though on an indoor hard surface, and also odds-on at 4/9 to do so in straight sets.
Murray will also be pleased to hear that the person ahead of him in seventh (by 130 points) in the Race to London, Tomas Berdych, got knocked out of the Valencia Open 3-6 2-6 to Spaniard Pablo Andujar. The Czech recently won the Stockholm Open, though.
Canadian Milos Raonic, though, who is behind Murray by 135 points in 10th place, has started well in the Basel tournament, beating Steve Johnson in two sets in the first round. Stan Wawrinka (fourth in the race to the World Tour Finals), meanwhile, lost to Mikhail Kukushkin in that same event.
Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov (11th and 335 points off Murray) is also to play in Switzerland, and faces Alexander Zverev up first, who he is odds-on at 1/8 to beat.
Following Murray’s victory over Ferrer in Vienna, he said: “It was a good finish to the week. Obviously, it was an important match in the race for the Tour Finals in London and it was a very, very tough match but I managed to get through it.
“It was a very long match and both of us were in the locker room struggling, limping around and very stiff and sore so it was a nice one to get through.
“I said when I arrived in China that I wanted to try and get to the latter stages of the events I was playing between now and the end of the year and play against the top players to get into the routine and rhythm again,” Murray continued.
“I was starting to feel good at the US Open a few months ago and I wanted to try and continue that through until the end of the year.
“Obviously, London would be very nice if I can get there but it’s also important for seedings at the Australian Open. To be seeded in the top eight there can make a big difference to the draw and hopefully I will be able to do that.”
Murray is currently ATP-ranked world number 10, following an unimpressive season that saw him reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam just once, on his least favourite surface at the French Open. He is a 9/2 chance to win his first Australian Open in January, though.