Tough return for Murray in Tokyo

 

Andy Murray warned that the rest of the season might be tough and his point was underlined yesterday when the draw was made for this week's Japan Open in Tokyo. Murray's first match since his US Open triumph will be against Gaël Monfils, who has the game to trouble any of the best players in the world.

Murray has long regarded Monfils as one of the sport's outstanding athletes, though the world No 45's career has been dogged by injury. The 26-year-old Frenchman, who was world No 7 only 14 months ago, has just returned after four months out with a knee problem. Murray has won three of their five meetings, but Monfils won the most recent, at the 2010 Paris Masters.

Albert Ramos or Lukas Lacko will face Murray or Monfils in the second round. Thereafter Murray is seeded to meet Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarter-finals, Milos Raonic in the semi-finals and Tomas Berdych in the final. The world No 3 beat both Raonic and Berdych en route to his first Grand Slam title in New York.

The world No 1 ranking is a target for Murray in the coming months, but over the next fortnight the Scot can only lose points because he chose not to play last week in Bangkok, which was the first of three tournaments in succession which he won last year. He will be defending the titles both in Tokyo and at the Shanghai Masters, which begins in eight days' time.

While Roger Federer, the world No 2, is not due to play again before Shanghai, Novak Djokovic, the world No 1, is playing at this week's China Open in Beijing, where the field is even stronger than in Tokyo. David Ferrer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are the second and third seeds respectively.

Laura Robson, already at a career-high No 57 in the world rankings following her run to the final in Guangzhou last weekend, will have a chance to make further progress after qualifying for the main draw for the China Open yesterday by beating the experienced Swede Johanna Larsson 4-6 6-2 6-1.

Robson, aged 18, will now play the 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm, the oldest player competing regularly on the women's tour. Heather Watson, the British No 2 behind Robson, was beaten 7-5 2-6 3-6 by Italy's Camila Giorgi in the final round of qualifying for the tournament in Beijing.

News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
news
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.

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower