Murray seals World Tour Finals place
Paris, October 30
Andy Murray secured his place at the ATP World Tour Finals in London with a commanding victory against Grigor Dimitrov. Murray beat Dimitrov 6-3 6-3 to advance to the Paris Masters last eight; while victory may not match the prize and prestige of a Wimbledon final, Murray’s triumph on Court Central in Paris carried great significance.
Not only did Murray bury the ghosts of that grave day his Wimbledon defence ended, but with victory he also secured his place for the season-ending finals in London.
Dimitrov displayed early nerves but Murray could not capitalise; the Bulgarian was there for the taking in the opening game, but misplaced forehands from Murray let his opponent off the hook. An ace got Murray out of trouble in the second game of the match and from that point the Scot looked comfortable.
Dimitrov struggled with his ground strokes and a loose forehand gave Murray the first break point in the third game; another long forehand ensured the British No.1 established the advantage.
Murray won four points from 0-30 down to secure the gap with a hold of serve before Dimitrov served superbly for a hold-to-love. Murray’s supreme ball-striking edged him into a 5-3 lead and, following a brilliant forehand and backhand, gave him three break points for the set.
After squandering the first, Dimitrov double-faulted and, following 33 minutes on court, Murray was just a set away from a place in the quarter-finals as well as London.
He eased through the opening game of the second, serving his third ace of the match for a hold-to-love, before a moment of brilliance put Dimitrov on the back foot. A cheeky, inch-perfect lob had his opponent floundering and when Dimitrov hit long, Murray had broken again.
Another hold-to-love followed, despite a brief intervention from the net cord, which provided Murray with a lucky winner. Dimitrov enjoyed similar fortune in the fourth game to prevent a second set bagel, but Murray responded with a barrage of forehands and a net volley to move 4-1 ahead. Two holds followed and Murray was serving for the match. Dimitrov reviewed a wayward forehand that landed a yard off the back of the baseline – a sign of desperation more than anything – and Murray served out for a win and a place at the O2.