Murray fights to keep season alive – then plans rare holiday

 

O2 Arena

Andy Murray is hoping not to start thinking about holiday plans until the end of Monday night's final here at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals but the Scot will be taking his first break for two years after the season-ending finale. Murray, who meets Jo-Wilfried Tsonga tonight in his concluding round-robin match as he attempts to qualify for Sunday's semi-finals, is changing his off-season plans this year to incorporate both a holiday and Christmas at home.

Last year Murray trained in Miami in December and then went straight to Brisbane at the start of January to play his only warm-up tournament before the Australian Open. This year he will take a holiday, go to Miami to train, return home for Christmas and then leave on Boxing Day for Abu Dhabi, where he is playing in an exhibition event, before heading for Brisbane and then Melbourne.

Murray said he and his girlfriend, Kim Sears, would take a holiday somewhere within easy reach because he does enough travelling in the rest of the year. Wherever it is, he will not be spending all day sunbathing.

"I'm happy to do that for a couple of days but after that I try and do some stuff," he said. "If you just lie around your body stiffens up when you start practising again. It takes time to get back into it and your body hurts quite a lot as well after you take a week off doing absolutely nothing."

Tonight Murray will need to devote all his energies to trying to qualify for the semi-finals here. The official version of the possible outcomes of today's concluding Group A matches contains 10 possible scenarios in terms of which two players will go through to the last four.

The advantage for Murray, who has one win from his first two round-robin matches, is that he will know exactly what he needs to do against Tsonga once the afternoon match between Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych is over.

At the moment any two players could qualify and Murray's possibilities range from losing to Tsonga and still qualifying, to beating him and not qualifying. The one certainty at this stage is that a straight-sets win against an opponent he has beaten six times out of seven would guarantee his qualification.

"You should be able to just play the match and try to win without thinking about any of the other stuff that goes with it," Murray said when asked whether the qualification system was distracting. "I've won two matches here before and qualified but I've also won two matches and not qualified.

"The only way to guarantee is by winning three matches or by winning your first two matches in straight sets. It's not easy to win matches comfortably here because you're playing against the best players on a quick surface. It often happens, because of the way they schedule the matches, you always come down to the last day and who's going to qualify. These scenarios happen all the time."

Leon Smith, Britain's Davis Cup captain, sees Murray as the clear favourite to beat Tsonga tonight. "It's a good match-up for Andy," he said. "Tsonga has a great serve, but Andy is a great returner so he negates that. Once they get into the points situation, Andy is very, very good at exploiting those areas that Jo could be weak in."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
News
Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
News
news
News
peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
science... and it's down to gender stereotypes
Arts and Entertainment
Inner sanctum: Tove Jansson and friends in her studio in 1992
booksWhat was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Singer songwriter Bob Dylan performs on stage
films
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 Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital