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Murray mounting challenge to reach ATP World Tour Finals

Andy Murray is enjoying a good run in China, since his disappointing year overall so far, and has moved up to ninth in the ATP Race to London, ahead of the World Tour Finals event at the O2 Arena on November 9th.

The Scot recently won the tournament in Shenzhen, his first title victory and even final appearance since his 2013 Wimbledon success, and reached the semis in Beijing. Murray is now 175 points behind eighth-placed Canadian Milos Raonic to qualify for the London event, and is one of only eight people vying for the five remaining places.

World number one Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, meanwhile, have all already assured their places for the season-ending tournament, which has a total cash pool of US$6m.

Murray, though, has exclaimed that reaching the World Tour Finals is not his immediate priority, with the Shanghai Masters his next event, which he is 9/1 to win. “My schedule was going to be dictated more how I felt and what I wanted from the end of the year rather than just trying to play to get into the Tour Finals, because I don’t think that’s necessarily the right way to go about it,” he said.

“But the reason I came here to China was to try to get some momentum, try to win some more matches, get into the latter stages, play against the best players, and get used to playing at that level consistently again between now and the end of the year.

“But if I play well, I’ll give myself a chance at getting to the O2,” he added. “When I step on the court, that really shouldn’t be something I’m thinking about.”

If Murray fails to impress at Shanghai, though, he will get another chance to gain points at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris at the end of October. Both events award a massive 1000 points to the winner and 600 to the runner-up.

Ahead of Murray in the Race to London rankings are Australian Open holder Stan Wawrinka, Tokyo champion Kei Nishikori, flushing Meadows winner Marin Cilic, beaten Beijing finalist Tomas Berdych and Raonic. David Ferrer and Grigor Dimitrov, at number 10 and 11 respectively, meanwhile, can still mathematically qualify.