(Reuters) - Andy Murray does not want to become too fixated with his chances of securing a place in next month’s ATP World Tour Finals in London despite ending his 15-month title drought recently.
The Briton was in danger of missing out on playing in front of his home fans as he slipped out of the top 10 in the Race to London after failing to reach a final for more than a year following his triumph at Wimbledon in July 2013.
But after winning the Shenzhen Open and reaching the semi-finals of the China Open over the last few weeks, the 27-year-old Scot is once again in contention for London after climbing to ninth in the Race.
Only the top eight players in the Race will play in London but Murray said continuing his return to form remains a priority rather than securing a place at the season-ending event.
“My schedule was going to be dictated more how I felt and what I wanted from the end of the year rather than just trying to play to get into the Tour Finals, because I don’t think that’s necessarily the right way to go about it,” Murray said as he prepared to face Georgia’s Teymuraz Gabashvili at the Shanghai Masters on Tuesday.
“But the reason I came here to China was to try to get some momentum, try to win some more matches, get into the latter stages, play against the best players, and get used to playing at that level consistently again between now and the end of the year.
“But if I play well, I’ll give myself a chance at getting to the O2 (the World Tour Finals venue). When I step on the court, that really shouldn’t be something I’m thinking about.”
Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have already secured their place in London.
With five spots still up for grabs, Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka is well placed to join them.
Kei Nishikori and U.S. Open winner Marin Cilic sit fifth and sixth respectively, though the Croatian suffered a setback when he lost in the first round in Shanghai.
Tomas Berdych and Milos Raonic, who is 175 points ahead of Murray in the standings, occupy the two final qualification places.
David Ferrer and Grigor Dimitrov, behind Murray in the standings, are also still in the running.
Victory at the Shanghai Masters is worth 1000 points towards the ATP’s Race To London standings.
Reporting By Tom Hayward, editing by Pritha Sarkar