Following back surgery a few months after his Wimbledon win the challenge in 2014 was to get back on track for Andy Murray.
Having been world number two in August, finishing the year at number four and during 2014 dropping to twelve the race Race for London was on!
At the end of March and seven events to his name Murray was on 1000 points in eleventh place but just 25 points off Nishikori in the eighth and final position.
By the end of June Andy had played just four tournaments but was climbing the ladder in the Race to London. Murray at this point occupied ninth position and was 125 points off Ernests Gulbis in eighth.
At this point daylight was beginning to spread between the players, Dimitrov was just 10 points behind Murray in tenth and 580 points further down in eleventh was Milos Raonic.
Suddenly from a position of control after the US Open things began to look messy for Murray’s quest of heading to London. Murray hadn’t been to a final all season after leaving the US Open and the challenge was on in eleventh place and 350 points off a spot in London.
This kick-started a marathon of six high pressure weeks of tennis which lead to three titles, twenty wins and three defeats!
Murray won his first title of the year in Shenzhen giving him some much needed points winning a thrilling final against Tommy Robredo saving a crucial five match points. The following week in Beijing he was pushed to three close sets by Jerzy Janowicz first of all but slipped to Djokovic in the semi-finals.
Following his time in Shenzhen and Beijing he climbed to ninth but still 185 points off a place in London. Daylight from earlier on in the race had soon disappeared with just over 300 points separating five players.
Shanghai didn’t go to plan losing to David Ferrer in the third round but that wasn’t that last Murray would see of the Spaniard in his quest for a spot in London.
Two weeks were left on the clock and Murray opted for ATP 250 in Vienna and ATP 500 in Valencia and in both events defeated David Ferrer who was the top seed!
In Vienna first of all he defeated Ferrer in the final from a set down and won the third set 7-5 meaning going into the last week Murray was occupying the last spot by 110 points with Ferrer behind him and in Valencia too!
It was a case of winner goes to London in the semi-finals. For the third consecutive week Murray and Ferrer met in three close sets but it was a more dominant performance from Andy in a 6-4 7-5 win to progress to the final.
One of the highlights of this incredible run was another thrilling encounter with Tommy Robredo. Having upset one Spaniard the Brit was at it again winning a 199 minute battle with Tommy dropping to the ground after winning the third set tie-break 10-8 and looked physically done! The final was magnificent and will be remembered for this moment at the net…
The win was a great show of his determination to qualify and suddenly qualified in 5th place following his win in Valencia. He headed to Paris for the final Masters 1000 event but slipped to Djokovic in the quarter finals.
How would Murray fare in London?
Heading in London he had only had one week off since before the US Open. Murray lost to Nishikori in two sets and defeated Raonic in two a couple of days later.
Murray at this point was physically knackered. The run to London was absolutely magnificent and soo tense throughout but the cost was an early exit in London and that 0-6 1-6 defeat to Federer took away the light on a good comeback.
The attitude of Murray throughout the year was faultless. It was never give up attitude. Coming back from back surgery must be incredibly tough but he stuck at it despite struggling against the best he pulled it all together if anything it emphasised his qualities as a top player.