Five vie to fill ATP World Tour Finals place left vacant by Andy Murray

The British number one is still recovering from back surgery

Shanghai

Andy Murray's announcement that he is withdrawing from next month's Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London may have been the least surprising news of the week, but word of the Scot's decision following his back surgery last month will have sent a buzz around the locker room at the Shanghai Rolex Masters.

Murray was one of four players – along with Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer – who had qualified to play in the season's finale at the O2 Arena, but his withdrawal will open up an opportunity for someone else. The line-up comprises the eight players (fitness permitting) who have won the most ranking points in the year.

With Tomas Berdych and Juan Martin del Potro strongly placed at No 5 and No 6, five players appear to be in serious contention for the remaining three places. Roger Federer, Stanislas Wawrinka, Richard Gasquet, Milos Raonic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga occupy the positions from No 7 to No 11. The biggest points are on offer here and at the Paris Masters later this month. Gasquet, who currently occupies the last London berth, will be kicking himself for losing to Vasek Pospisil first time out here, especially as his four main rivals all won their opening matches.

When you are Federer and have played in the season-ending finale for the last 11 years in succession, earning a place in the field might appear like no big deal. When you are 28-year-old Wawrinka and contemplating the prospect of taking part in the showcase event for the first time, it is a thought to set the pulse racing. "It would be just amazing, a dream for me to play in London," Wawrinka said after his hard-fought 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 victory over Kevin Anderson.

Federer was a break down against Andreas Seppi before winning 6-4, 6-3, while Djokovic crushed Marcel Granollers 6-2, 6-0 and Nadal beat Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 6-2 to reach the last 16. Del Potro and Berdych both had to overcome physical problems before making the third round. Berdych recovered from a back problem to beat Feliciano Lopez 7-6, 6-2, while Del Potro had to contend with a fever before beating Philipp Kohlschreiber 3-6, 6-3, 7-6.

 

 

Get Adobe Flash player
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable