Monday, October 29, 2007
Murray upbeat on Masters Cup bid
Murray is poised to make the prestigious season finale in China
Andy Murray says he will go into the season's final ranking tournament in Paris relaxed even though a Masters Cup place in Shanghai will be at stake.
The Scot's third ATP career title win in St Petersburg left him just three points off the final qualifying spot.
But he says he has little to lose after a three-month wrist injury lay-off.
"Of all the guys, I have the least pressure of making it into Shanghai because I wasn't expecting to have a chance of qualifying," Murray said.
The 20-year-old, who saw off Fernando Verdasco in straight sets in Russia on Sunday, is currently 11th in the ATP Race ahead of this week's Paris Masters.
Already qualified for the eight-man end-of-season Masters Cup are Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Nikolay Davydenko, Andy Roddick and David Ferrer.
That leaves two places up for grabs in Paris, with Fernando Gonzalez and Tommy Haas currently in seventh and eighth but Tommy Robredo, James Blake and now Murray in contention.
"Having missed two Grand Slams through injury and been short of confidence throughout August, his late surge to the verge of the elite top eight has been remarkable," says BBC Radio 5 Live's Jonathan Overend.
"As his rivals for Shanghai falter, Murray is the only man yet to qualify who is getting consistent results at the moment.
"Two places remain, they will be decided in Paris. If Murray can do better than Haas, Robredo and Blake, his surge up the rails will be complete and China will beckon."
And Murray, who missed almost three months of the season with a wrist injury, believes he is in good shape to capitalise on an unexpected opportunity.
"I had a lot of time to rest down and I think I've only played 14 or 15 tournaments this year so I'm pretty well rested," the British number one explained.
"There's one tournament to go and I still have a chance of getting to Shanghai.
"I'm going to try my best and if I win a couple of matches I have a good chance."
Murray, seeded 15th, has a first-round bye in Paris and will play Juan Monaco or Jarkko Nieminen in his opening match, with world number three Novak Djokovic a possible third-round opponent.