Murray books place at season's London finale with defeat of Chardy

It has not been the easiest of seasons for Andy Murray but the year will end on a high note. The 23-year-old Scot's 6-3, 6-4 victory yesterday over France's Jérémy Chardy at the Shanghai Masters ensured that he will again qualify for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London. With Rafael Nadal, Murray's potential semi-final opponent, suffering a surprise defeat to Jürgen Melzer, the world No 4 has a great opportunity to make further progress at the Qi Zhong Tennis Centre.

Murray has now reached the World Tour Finals – previously known as the Tennis Masters Cup – for the last three years. In 2008 he made the semi-finals after a memorable victory over Roger Federer in the round-robin stage and last year he failed to match that performance by only the smallest of margins in the group phase. The tournament features the eight most successful players in the calendar year and Murray joins Nadal, Federer and Novak Djokovic as men who have already secured their places in London next month.

"I think it's a great achievement to qualify," Murray said yesterday. "I'm obviously very happy to have done it with a few tournaments left."

He added: "I think the closer it gets to the tournament the more you start thinking about it. So much can happen at the beginning of the year. I had a great tournament at the Australian Open and then I had three or four really bad months. I might have been outside the top eight until maybe Wimbledon time, so you have to try and view the year as a whole and not panic if things go bad at the start because it's such a long season."

Having beaten China's Yan Bai, ranked No 465 in the world, in his first match, Murray stepped up a gear to overcome 23-year-old Chardy, the No 59. The Scot was well below his best in losing to Ivan Ljubicic in Beijing last week but is much happier with his game now. He served particularly well under pressure against Chardy and did not drop his serve once.

"He had quite a few break points in the first set and I saved them all pretty well with good serves – a good first serve and a big forehand on a couple of occasions," Murray said. "It was really, really important to get a good start in the match, because he's very, very streaky. He can play some great tennis. I needed to try to get ahead early and I managed to do that.

"I thought my second serve today was good. I served a lot into his forehand and varied the serve a lot, which helped. He served exceptionally well. He served 80 per cent first serves in the first set. To beat a guy and win a set against someone who serves that well, with that high a percentage, was good."

Murray's quarter-final opponent today will be another Frenchman, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who is playing only his second tournament since losing to the Scot in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. Tsonga, who has had a knee injury, reached the last eight by beating Germany's Florian Mayer.

Nadal failed to reach a quarter-final for the first time this year when he lost 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 to Melzer. The world No 1 had never dropped a set to the Austrian in three previous meetings but was well beaten on this occasion as Melzer regularly attacked the Spaniard's second serve.

In the other half of the draw Federer and Djokovic are heading towards a semi-final showdown. Federer, who first has to find a way past Robin Soderling, beat Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-4, while Djokovic, aiming to win back-to-back titles in China after his victory in Beijing, overpowered Richard Gasquet 6-1, 6-1. Djokovic now faces Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who beat Tomas Berdych.

Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
News
peoplePamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals
Arts and Entertainment
tvExecutive says content is not 'without any purpose'
News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
News
newsChester Zoo have revealed their newest members
Sport
sportLeague Managers' Association had described Malky Mackay texts as 'friendly banter'
Arts and Entertainment
tvSpielberg involved in bringing his 2002 film to the small screen
News
peopleCareer spanned 70 years, including work with Holocaust survivors
News
people
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.

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape