So we are into the Asian swing, the last part of the tennis year, where the big names can gain any extra points they need to try and qualify for the World Tour Finals in London. Andy Murray is currently WR 11 and quite low in the race, however, he was out for the last part of last year having gone through back surgery. This means that he has no points to defend in his general rankings and can make up points on other people in the Asian swing. It was known he was going to play Shanghai as that is an ATP 1000 masters event and a mandatory event. His fans have been worrying about his ranking ever since Wimbledon and his exit at the quarter final stage of the US Open didn’t help with the ranking (although, he defended the points he had last year, he has only slipped because the finalists were non of the “big four” which he is still part of, even though his current ranking doesn’t give him this)
Andy seems to have realised he needed to do something as he has entered two tournaments prior to Shanghai, by taking Wild Cards into Shenzhen (a new ATP 250 event) and also into the China Open in Beijing (ATP 500), he is currently on 400 points behind David Ferrer so a good run at these tournaments and Shanghai will see him rise up the rankings back to his rightful place amongst the top 4 players in the world. Personally speaking I am glad he has opted to play a couple of events prior to the mandatory Shanghai event, and I really hope he adds at least one more before London. It would be great for Andy to make London as he had to withdraw last year due to his injury, so the 9th player in the race got his place. He has never won the WTF event and it would be a great way to end this year, as he has not had a great year back. He has reached at least the quarter finals of every slam this year, and the only other player to achieve that (male or female) is Novak Djokovic, so overall it has not been a bad season. Andy will not be satisfied with his season though as he has not yet won a title this year.
Reaching a final and even winning one of the end of the year events would be a huge boost to Andy, he has been playing well since coming back as we saw with his performances at the US Open (when you ignore the curse of Armstrong), especially the one against Novak Djokovic, which saw him play some fantastic shots and in this writers opinion showed he was very nearly back to his best.