Andy Murray gave an indication that his recovery from back surgery is going well when it was announced yesterday that he would appear in an exhibition tournament in Barbados at the end of next month.
Murray will play alongside Juan Martin del Potro, Nicolas Almagro and Richard Gasquet in the Dream Cup in Barbados from 28 November to 1 December. The world No 3, who then plans to go to Miami for his December “boot camp”, is expected to confirm next week that he will not recover in time to play in next month’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.
Britain’s Dominic Inglot and his Filipino partner, Treat Huey, were beaten in the semi-finals of the doubles here at the Rakuten Japan Open yesterday by Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin. Jamie Murray and his Australian partner, John Peers, meet Austria’s Julian Knowle and Jürgen Melzer in today’s other semi-final.
Rafael Nadal is one victory away from returning to the top of the world rankings after surviving a huge scare to beat Italian Fabio Fognini in the quarter-finals of the China Open yesterday. The Spaniard will regain top spot if he reaches the final regardless of what the current No 1 Novak Djokovic does in Beijing.
Nadal, who took his Grand Slam singles haul to 13 this year by winning the French and US Opens, has not been ranked No 1 in the world since July 2011.
Fognini, ranked 19, nearly put a spanner in the works, though, before Nadal earned a 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory to reach the semis.
“It’s something [taking the No 1 spot] that doesn’t create more pressure for me,” said Nadal, who will meet either Tomas Berdych or John Isner in the last four.
“It’s something that already happened in the past. If that happens again, it will be good; it will be special for me, but we’ll see.”
Djokovic later brushed past Sam Querrey 6-1, 6-2 to seal his place in the Beijing semi-finals.