In an attempt to boost their chances of appearing at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in November, both David Ferrer and Andy Murray have taken wild card entries to the Erste Bank Open in Vienna this week. The move shows how keen the players are to grab a place at the season finale that will be held at London’s O2 arena.
Both players are currently outside of the eight automatic qualification places and will be hoping to gain ground on Canadian Milos Raonic who currently holds the final spot. Ferrer will start as top seed in Vienna and will need to progress to the finals to gain additional points due to the number of matches he has already played this season. A quarter-final place would be enough for Andy Murray to earn some valuable extra points.
Murray is currently in tenth spot just 95 points behind Raonic and will be hoping to bounce back from his disappointing performance in Shanghai when he lost to Ferrer after going a set up. Meanwhile, Raonic will be travelling to Moscow to compete in the Kremlin Cup as the top seed.
Also competing in Moscow will be US Open champion Marin Cilic who is looking to chase down fifth place Kei Nishikori who is not competing at all this week. As a Grand Slam champion, Cilic will automatically be invited to London but he looks set to qualify on merit via the points system.
Seventh place Tomas Berdych will be in Stockholm this week to challenge for the IF Open title he won in 2012. He has close to a 200 point cushion over Raonic and based on recent form, he should be capable of booking a fifth consecutive appearance at the ATP finals.
Grigor Dimitrov still has a slim chance of making it to London but he will need to overturn a 300 point deficit in the coming weeks and that looks unlikely at this stage. The Bulgarian travels to Sweden as the reigning champion and will need to progress to at least the semi-finals to gain any extra points.
With so much at stake and time running out, it promises to be an enthralling few weeks of Tennis for those following the Race to London.
Novak Djokovic is still the bookies favourite to lift the overall title with a best price of 6/4 available from SkyBet. Second favourite is Roger Federer who was struggling to even qualify for the finals this time last year. However, the Swiss players remarkable return to form continues and he can currently be backed at a tempting 10/3 with BetVictor.