ATP World Tour Finals 2014: Andy Murray edges closer to 02 place with Vienna victory

Scot beats Ferrer in final and then heads straight to next tournament

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Andy Murray won his second tournament in the space of a month today but there was little time for celebration as the Scot continued his dogged pursuit of a place in next month’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Having won the title in Vienna by beating David Ferrer 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 in the final, Murray immediately left for Valencia, where he will be aiming this week to secure more of the ranking points he needs to make the elite field for the season-ending finale in London.

The eight places in the field at the O2 Arena go to the  players who have earned the most ranking points in the calendar year. However, with Marin Cilic guaranteed a spot as the US Open champion, Murray might need to finish as high as seventh in the “Race to London” to secure his place.

The win over Ferrer took Murray into eighth place, one ahead of the Spaniard, while seventh-placed Tomas Berdych preserved his lead over Murray by beating Grigor Dimitrov in the final of the Stockholm Open. Cilic, meanwhile, beat Roberto Bautista Agut to claim the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

Until Murray claimed the Shenzhen Open in China four weeks ago he had not won a title for more than 14 months, but the pursuit of a place in the World Tour Finals has reignited his season. In beating Ferrer the 27-year-old Scot became only the fifth currently active player to win 30 or more tour-level titles. He is the third Briton to win in Vienna, following in the footsteps of Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski.

Ferrer beat Murray in the previous week’s Shanghai Masters, but the Scot turned the tables with a gritty display in a match that lasted two hours and 40 minutes. There were 12 breaks of serve, including seven in the deciding set.

“It was an extremely difficult match,” Murray said afterwards. “He deserved to win the first set, I deserved the second and the third could have gone either way. It was extremely close at the end. I just managed to get through.”

He added: “Whoever qualifies for the Finals will deserve it. It’s the best players over the 12 months, so we will see in the next weeks, but it is going to be very close. We leave this evening for Valencia. Every tournament right now is very important. Maybe one glass of champagne tonight, but not more than that.”

There are two more weeks of tournaments before the end of the regular season. Murray, Ferrer and Berdych are all playing in Valencia this week. Murray starts against Austria’s Jurgen Melzer and thereafter is seeded to meet Fabio Fognini and Kevin Anderson before coming up against Ferrer again in the semi-finals.

Milos Raonic, who is also in contention for one of the remaining London places, plays this week in Basle, where Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are the top seeds. All the top men are due to play in the following week’s Paris Masters.