Race for London hots up
Originally published on 29/10/14
Murray, who won back-to-back titles in Vienna and Valencia to move up to fifth in the Race to London, beat Julien Benneteau 6-3 6-4 to move into the third round at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, and one win away from guaranteeing his qualification.
Standing between him and a place at London's O2 is Grigor Dimitrov, who beat the Scot in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon this summer.
For Dimitrov, it is a last-ditch attempt to book his place for the first time. Currently 11th in the Race to London, the Bulgarian must beat Murray and go on to reach at least the semi-finals to have even the slightest chance of qualification.
“He still has a decent chance at getting into London, so he'd be pretty motivated," said Murray. "It will be a good match for both of us."
Following Rafael Nadal’s decision to end his season early in order to undergo surgery to remove his appendix, there are still four places up for grabs with Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka and Marin Cilic already securing their places. Murray, who slipped outside of the world’s top 10 after the US Open, has moved firmly back into contention following three titles in five weeks during the autumn.
"I put in a lot of hard work the last few weeks; played a lot of tough, long matches," Murray said. "If I get into London, I deserve to be there, because it's your results across the whole year. My results in most of tournaments this year, most of the big tournaments, have been good enough to be in the top eight."
Kei Nishikori and Tomas Berdych are well placed in the Race to London, and would guarantee their qualification with runs to the semi-finals, while David Ferrer and Milos Raonic are also still in the hunt for a place in London.