Murray seals spot at Tour Finals

Briton powers past Bulgaria's Dimitrov

Murray seals spot at Tour Finals

Andy Murray's recent resurgence continued when the Briton qualified for the ATP World Tour Finals by reaching the Paris Masters quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-3 win against Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov on Thursday.

After dropping outside the world top 10 following his US Open quarterfinal exit, Murray began a late push for a spot in the London showpiece event, which features eight of the best players this season. The eighth seed showed he was up to the task by seeing off ninth-seeded Dimitrov, who is now eliminated from the race for the Nov 10-16 event. 

Murray will take on world number one Novak Djokovic for a semifinal spot after the Serbian beat Frenchman Gael Monfils 6-3 7-6 (2) after a 92-minute match. "There were no downs really in the match," Murray told reporters after becoming the fifth player to book his place in the season finale.

Second seed Roger Federer dismissed French qualifier Lucas Pouille 6-4, 6-4 and now faces Milos Raonic, who can still qualify for the Tour Finals after the Canadian fired 23 aces in his 7-5, 7-6 (7) win over Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut.

Federer, who has won five of his 10 finals this year, extended his current winning run to 14 matches as he kept his eye firmly on the world number one spot, which he can achieved by winning in Paris if Djokovic does not reach the final.

Murray may not have enjoyed a successful season by his high standards but after booking his spot at the Tour Finals he ensured 2014 is far from a "bad year".

After his comfortable 69-minute victory over Dimitrov, Murray signed a camera lenswith a message that said "Bad year!" in reference to suggestions that the 27-year-old has not been at his best in 2014.

"It wasn't a jibe, it's a bit of fun," Murray told reporters. "If people are going to ask me all the time why I've had such a poor year by my standards, then you're allowed sometimes to say something in response to that.

"I don't tend to do that often, but look it's been a hard year, a tough year, but it hasn't been a bad year."

Murray, who missed last season's London showpiece event after undergoing back surgery, admitted his recovery from injury  has been difficult, but said he is pleased with how the year has gone.

"It could have been a lot worse," he said. "Coming back from a surgery is not easy at all and I learned that. "The first few months of this year were very difficult, and I had to dig deep at the end of this year in some ways to salvage the year.

"It's been a good year. Not my best year, but I would've signed up for being in this position when I had the surgery last year, I think."

Murray will join Djokovic, Federer, Stan Wawrinka and Marin Cilic at London's O2, with David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych and Kei Nishikori currently in possession of the other three qualifying spots. "It's a great event to be involved in," he told Sky Sports. "It's a fun way to finish the year,” he added. 

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