Andy Murray qualifies for London, three spots remain in ATP Finals race
Andy Murray qualified for his seventh consecutive ATP World Tour Finals on Thursday, after beating Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 6-3 to advance to the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris-Bercy. The perfunctory win capped off a strong stretch for Murray, who has now won 20 of 22 matches since the U.S. Open. Murray plays No. 1 Novak Djokovic on Friday.
Ranked as low as No. 12 after the U.S. Open, Murray has played a non-stop schedule. This week in Paris marks his sixth consecutive tournament, after a stretch that began with a title at the Shenzhen Open, semifinals at the China Open and back-to-back titles in Vienna and Valencia. He's now up to No. 8 in the rankings and could move up to No. 4 if he wins the title in Paris. After beating Dimitrov, Murray couldn't help but leave a dry, sarcastic message for his detractors:
Murray is the fifth man to qualify for the London field along with Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka and Marin Cilic. Three qualifying spots remain and it will come down to No. 6 Kei Nishikori, No. 7 Tomas Berdych, No. 9 David Ferrer, and No. 10 Milos Raonic (ranking based on ATP Race for London standings). No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov's chances to qualify for his first World Tour Finals ended with his loss to Murray.
The remaining qualification scenarios revolve around Raonic. The Canadian is trying to qualify for his first World Tour Finals but a poor fall season has put him on the outside looking in. He can clinch a spot if he wins the title in Paris or goes one round better than Ferrer, who he trails by just 25 points. He will play either Federer on Friday. If he loses that match then Nishikori, Berdych and Ferrer will take the final three spots.
Here are the remaining scenarios:
- Nishikori will become the first Asian-born player to qualify for the World Tour Finals if he makes the semifinals. He defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in three sets on Thursday and plays Ferrer in the quarterfinals. Having made the quarterfinals, Nishikori will qualify unless Raonic beats Ferrer in the final.
- Berdych will qualify for his fifth straight World Tour Finals on Friday if he beats Kevin Anderson, who upset Wawrinka 6-7 (2), 7-5, 7-6 (3), to make the semifinals. Berdych has to like his chances. He's 11-0 against Anderson. Should he lose that match, Berdych will still qualify unless Raonic beats Ferrer in the final.
- Ferrer currently sits in the final qualifying position at No. 9. He will qualify if he makes the final or so long as Raonic does not go one round better.