Murray advances to seal London spot

Published: Thursday 30th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Andy Murray secured his place at next month’s season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London with a highly impressive victory over Grigor Dimitrov in the third round of the BNP Paribas Masters.

The 27-year-old Scot, whose hopes of retaining his Wimbledon singles title were crushed by the Bulgarian earlier this year, was in control from the outset and a break in game three ensured that was reflected on the scoreboard.

A second break secured the first set and then, after racing into a 3-0 lead in the second, the world number eight comfortably saw out a 6-3 6-3 triumph to set up a quarter-final meeting with Novak Djokovic or Gael Monfils in Paris.

”It’s nice,” said the British number one, who headed to Paris for the ultimate Masters 1000 event of the season on the back of five straight weeks of tournaments, winning titles in Shenzhen, Vienna and Valencia.

He continued on Sky Sports 3: ”It’s a great event to be involved in. It’s a fun way to finish the year in London – they put on a great event there, there’s a packed house every time you play, and I’m happy to have qualified.”

Murray’s hopes of breaking back into the world’s top four were also boosted on Thursday, as Stan Wawrinka – third seed and current world number four – crashed out in the French capital to Kevin Anderson.

Anderson, the 14th seed from South Africa, fired 18 aces and won 75 per cent of first-serve points en route to a 6-7 (2/7) 7-5 7-6 (7/3) victory over the Swiss in two hours and 50 minutes.

Australian Open champion Wawrinka has already secured his place at the World Tour Finals, and looked upon his early exit as an opportunity to rest ahead of the O2 showpiece.

“I will have time to rest and practice a lot just to be ready for [London],” he said on “We need to be fresh and we need to be ready and we need play well from the start and try to get some victories to [advance]. It’s a round robin.

“The good thing is I have experience. I’ve played this tournament before. I will just concentrate on what I’m doing, and I hope I will be fit to be there.”

Anderson will next face Tomas Berdych in Paris after the fifth-seeded Czech advanced to his 13th tour-level quarter-final of the year with a 7-5 6-3 win over 12th-seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.

Berdych can seal his spot in London by reaching the semi-finals.

Also on Thursday, fourth seed David Ferrer cruised past fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-1 6-2 to set up a last-eight encounter with Japanese sixth seed Kei Nishikori, who moved a step closer to London with a hard-fought 6-1 4-6 6-4 success against 10th-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

And seventh seed Milos Raonic of Canada overcame 11th-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista-Agut 7-5 7-6 (9/7). He will next play either second seed Roger Federer or French qualifier Lucas Pouille.

Published: Thursday 30th October 2014 by The News Editor

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