Tennis’s season climax, the ATP World Tour Finals in London, are less than three weeks away, and Andy Murray is running out of time in the race to qualify.
Only the top eight players in the world are allowed to compete in tennis’s finale at the 02 in London, beginning on Sunday 9 November. Yesterday Murray pushed himself back into the top eight, but it’s still touch and go whether he will keep that spot before this year’s Tour finals. No wonder he hasn’t found time to watch his mum live on Strictly Come Dancing.
And Judy will probably have to wait a bit longer before her son can take a seat beside the famous dance floor. Britain’s number one has a packed European schedule, and will need to succeed at every event if he is to hold on to his top eight ranking. Here’s what he needs to do in order to book his place in London this November.
From Vienna to Valencia
Last Sunday, Andy Murray clawed his way back into the top eight in the ATP world rankings by winning the Vienna Open, his second title of the year.
This week he travels straight from Austria to Spain to compete in the Valencia Open 500, which starts today live on Sky Sports 3 and ends this Sunday.
Spanish rival David Ferrer will also be in Valencia. After losing out to Murray in the Vienna final, Ferrer is currently in ninth position, but only 110 points behind Murray. 500 points are up for grabs for the winner.
Bring down Berdych
Tomas Berdych is also in action in Spain this week, and Murray could meet the Czech player in the final. He is currently ranked seventh, but Murray could overtake him before the ATP Tour Finals if results go his way.
“The next few weeks are extremely important,” said Murray of his chances of qualifying. “Everyone is playing next week. I just need to win as many matches as possible to keep hold of the eighth spot or go higher.”
Perfect in Paris
The ATP Paris Masters begins immediately after Valencia, and is the last tournament where players can pick up ranking points before the finals in London. The winner will earn 1,000 crucial ranking points, with 600 available for the runner-up.
Six players are still in with a realistic chance of filling the three final spots. If Murray succeeds, this will be the seventh straight year he has made it to the tennis season finale. Below is a breakdown of the top 10 players still in contention for the London finals. Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Wawrinka and Cilic have all booked their places – the rest are still up for grabs.
1. Novak Djokovic – 9,010 points (qualified)
2. Roger Federer – 8,020 (qualified)
3. Rafael Nadal – 6,745 (qualified)
4. Stan Wawrinka – 4,805 (qualified)
5. Kei Nishikori – 4,265
6. Marin Cilic – 4,150 (qualified)
7. Tomas Berdych 4,105
8. Andy Murray – 3,885
9. David Ferrer – 3,775
10. Milos Raonic – 3,750