BRITAIN’S Andy Murray faces an uphill battle to qualify for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals In London next month after suffering a third-round loss to Spain’s David Ferrer at the Shanghai Masters yesterday.
The eight players with the most ranking points for the year will contest the finals at the O2 Arena but Murray’s 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 defeat sees the 27-year-old slip to 10th position, one place behind his conqueror, world No5 Ferrer.
Murray is still to beat a top-eight player this season and this latest setback could force him to contest the Valencia Open, which starts on 20 October, where 500 ranking points are on offer for the winner.
Failing that, the only other option for Murray – who won the Shenzhen Open in September and reached the semi-finals of the China Open last week – would be to lift the Paris Masters title at the end of October.
“We’ll see over the next few days where I go,” said Murray. “Hopefully I can play well the last couple of tournaments and push for London.”