VIENNA (AFP) – Andy Murray will begin a late dash for vital ranking points and a spot in the World Tour Finals with a wildcard entry into the Austrian Open starting on Monday.
It will be the first Austrian appearance for the Scot, who currently stands provisional 10th on the season points race for the season-ending showpiece in London from November 9.
Such is his desire not to miss out on the eight-man event that Murray will have played for six consecutive weeks if he completes his newly-revised schedule through the Paris Masters next month.
“I’ve played some pretty good tennis,” said the former Wimbledon winner after leaving Asia where he ended a 15-month title drought with victory in Shenzhen.
“I didn’t necessarily play my best in Shenzhen (China, a fortnight ago), but I managed to win the tournament. And there’s still obviously a few more weeks left in the season.”
Murray, who takes the second seeding, is joined in the field at the Stadthalle by another hot London contender, Spaniard David Ferrer, who’s ninth in the London running and has taken another wild card.
The top-seeded Ferrer, Murray, number three Shanghai Masters semi-finalist Feliciano Lopez and fourth-seed Philipp Kohlschreiber all have first-round byes.
Murray lost to Ferrer in the Shanghai third round, with the Spaniard exiting in the quarters against Novak Djokovic.
The Scot will face his first test when he plays the winner from Canadian Vasek Pospisil and a qualifier while Ferrer opens against either Tobias Kamke of Germany or Italian Simone Bolelli.
Czech Lukas Rosol is seeded fifth, ahead of Croatian Ivo Karlovic, Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez on seventh and Austrian future hope Dominic Thiem on eighth.
Thiem beat Rosol for his only win during the just-completed Asian swing, but reached the US Open fourth round.