LONDON – British favourite Andy Murray has qualified for the 2015 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals after he defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Friday to reach the Rogers Cup semi-finals in Montreal. Murray has secured his place for an eighth straight year, joining World No. 1 Novak Djokovic as the second qualifier at the season finale, to be held at The O2 in London from 15-22 November.
Stan Wawrinka, this year’s Roland Garros champion, six-time former titlist Roger Federer, Tomas Berdych, Kei Nishikori, two-time former finalist Rafael Nadal and 2007 runner-up David Ferrer all feature in the Top 8 of the Emirates ATP Race To London standings, bidding to join Djokovic and Murray with six singles spots left up for grabs. Murray is attempting to become the first British player to win the season finale, having reached the last four at Shanghai in 2008 (l. to Davydenko) and London in 2010 (l. to Nadal) and 2012 (l. to Federer).
“It’s good to do it with a long time to spare,” Murray said. “It’s nice and very different to last year when I ended up playing about six tournaments in six weeks and I was pretty fried by the time I got there. So hopefully I can prepare a little bit better for it this year. I always enjoying playing there.”
Murray’s early qualification contrasts with his late surge last year, when he picked up three titles in the space of five weeks to clinch his spot on 30 October — just 11 days before the start of the 2014 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
The 28-year-old Murray has compiled a 51-8 match record on the season, which includes three ATP World Tour titles. By lifting the BMW Open crown at Munich (d. Kohlschreiber) in May, he became the first British player to win a tour-level clay-court title since Buster Mottram at 1976 Palma. The following week, he recorded his first victory in seven clay-court meetings against Nadal for the Mutua Madrid Open trophy and during the ATP World Tour’s extended grass-court swing captured his fourth Aegon Championships in London (d. Anderson). Murray has reached the quarter-finals or better in 12 of his 14 events this year, including a runner-up finish at the Australian Open (l. to Djokovic) and semi-final runs at Roland Garros (l. to Djokovic) and at Wimbledon (l. to Federer).
The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals has welcomed more than 1.5 million fans to The O2 arena over the past six years, establishing itself as the biggest indoor tennis tournament in the world since moving to London in 2009. Tickets can be purchased at: http://www.topnotchtennistours.com.