Murray Drops Out Of Top 10, Cilic Clinches London Finals Alternate Spot
by Staff | September 9th, 2014, 3:03 pm

Andy Murray’s hopes of returning to the London finals faded this weekend when Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic both moved ahead of the Scot in the latest ATP Race standings.

Following the US Open, Murray slipped to 11th, some 360 points behind No. 8 Tomas Berdych. Murray will have to at least make up that 360 point difference to have a chance at London.

Also, Cilic climbed to No. 5 while Nishikori moved to No. 6.

According to ATP Finals qualification rules, Cilic and No. 4 Wawrinka have both clinched spots in the Finals. And as long as Wawrinka stays in the Top 7, Cilic will be awarded a main draw spot in the finals provided he remains in the Top 20.

(Under ATP rules, the Top 7 ranked players gained automatic entry into the London Finals. Then the next two highest ranked Grand Slam winners are selected if they are in the Top 20. Then the next highest player is selected for the final spot.)

At the top, Novak Djokovic remains in front by a 1,270 point margin over Roger Federer and 1,505 advantage over Rafael Nadal. There are still two 1,000 point Masters events remaining along with the 1,500 point ATP Finals.

2014 ATP Race Standings (September 8)
1 Djokovic, Novak (SRB) 8,150
2 Federer, Roger (SUI) 6,880
3 Nadal, Rafael (ESP) 6,645
4 Wawrinka, Stan (SUI) 4,725
5 Cilic, Marin (CRO) 3,935
6 Nishikori, Kei (JPN) 3,675
7 Ferrer, David (ESP) 3,535
8 Berdych, Tomas (CZE) 3,510

9 Raonic, Milos (CAN) 3,425
10 Dimitrov, Grigor (BUL) 3,335
11 Murray, Andy (GBR) 3,155
12 Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried (FRA) 2,555
13 Gulbis, Ernests (LAT) 2,400

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58 Comments for Murray Drops Out Of Top 10, Cilic Clinches London Finals Alternate Spot

RZ Says:

This might be one of the toughest year-end races for qualification. Fingers crossed for Andy Murray…

Steve27 Says:

And to think that Fish classified with only 2900 points in 2011. lol!

Daniel Says:

Steve 27,

This is no misery, if there is somebody winning all the points there is less for everybody else. That year Djokovic had 6700 its from Grand Slam and 5 Masters (5000) plus other results as well.

This year, the difference from #1 to #8 is 4600 and from #5 to #8 is 400 its, because nobody dominated. Heck Fed could do a Woz and be #1 without a Slam.

Humble Rafa Says:

Heck Fed could do a Woz and be #1 without a Slam.

He better not. Or he can wear a skirt and compete in the women’s tournament.

Michael Says:

The recurring back problems of Andy is devastating his career. In the match against Novak too, for the first two sets, Andy was showing some of the best displays that we have not seen from him recently. But then from the third set onwards, the back issue once again cropped up much to his consternation and cast doubts in his mind which restricted his overall movement, agility and also mentally disturbed. That could have cost him the match ultimately. Back issues once developed by a player are always set to linger on irrespective of the nature of treatment and it remains to be seen as how Andy copes up with his issue in the remaining part of his career. But as of now, things are not looking so bright for Andy.

pogi Says:

andy murray is an overrated player…
there’s only big 3 and not big 4…

Colin Says:

Steve27 and Daniel, I think you mean, respectively,”Qualified” not “classified” and “Mystery” not “misery”.

Andy is, I believe, playing in only three tournaments before the WTF: Tokyo, Shanghai and Paris. Fingers crossed, though if he doesn’t recover fully, I’d just as soon he didn’t play in London.

It’t funny how everyone is (quite rightly)full of sympathy for Del Potro’s ongoing injury problems, whereas the idiots are lining up (on UK websites, anyway) to call Andy a drama queen and hope he retires as soon as possible.

Pogi, you can be comfortable knowing that your dismissive attitude is shared by lots of others. Oddly enough, I’d rather listen to the opinion of, for instance, Frew McMillan, who rates Murray highly. And how about Ivan Lendl? Why did he choose Andy when he took up coaching?

bbsocrates Says:

pogi – I always said the same, there should only be a big 3 and Murray is not part of it.

Could be interesting race to #1 if Djoker takes time off this fall for new baby. If Nadal or Fed show up in Asia and take 1,000+ points, final weeks in Europe could get interesting. But, do any of the Big 3 care about year end #1 anymore?

RZ Says:

@Pogi and bbsocrates – the reason Murray has been included in the Big 4 isn’t just his 2 grand slams. It was also the number of finals and semifinals appearances in slams he had and also the Masters 1000 wins (9 titles, I believe), final appearances, and semifinals. I agree that he has not accomplished as much as Rafa, Fed, and Djokovic, but if you look at the overall dominance of the last few years by the same guys, there would be some holes if you didn’t include Murray.

MMT Says:

I think a major winner should be in the WTF no matter what their ranking, but the way points are distributed on the ATP tour, it’s highly unlikely that a major winner will drop out of the top 20 anyway.

The one who really has to have a good winter season is Dimitrov. He was looking pretty strong until Cilic and Nishikori’s run at the US Open. Now he’s got to put in some good performances to make his first WTF.

If his fitness has improved as much as it seems to have, this is the time for it to come into play. There’s still a lot to play for, Shanghai and Paris and Basel, but his destiny is still primarily in his own hands

MMT Says:

Raonic as well – both were looking pretty good going into the US Open.

SnotNosedKid Says:

Agree @Pogi, Tennis is about the slams, and Murray is only 1 slam better than 1-slam wonders like del Potro, Wawrinka or Roddick. As for Raonic, Dimitrov and Nishikori, they’re well on their way to becoming the new Tsonga, Berdych and Ferrer. Someone should tell Raonic to worry about the hair gel and arm sleeve after he actually wins something big.

MMT Says:

Wow – how quickly the luster of Murray’s career has faded around here. Just one slam better than del Potro and Wawrinka?


Ben Pronin Says:

Is it even mathematically possible for Cilic to drop out of the top 20 at this point? Seems weird that he’s ONLY qualified as an alternate. In my mind, he’s already in. Even if he ends up outside the top 8, which I doubt anyway.

I really did think Murray would help his cause at the US Open. But now there’s two ways of looking at this: 1) It’s actually good for tennis that Murray, or any other player really, was passed rather than simply dropping. Murray defended his points from last year but still dropped 2 or 3 spots because guys outperformed him that much. And that is good from a sporting point of view. But, 2) it sucks for Murray and his supporters. That means it’s just that much tougher to get there.

Wawrinka and Cilic are in. They’re 4 and 5 in the race and they’re slam winners. There are 3 spots left. I think the guys with 3000+ points are basically the ones fighting for it. Maybe Tsonga, too, at number 12. Amazing that Tsonga won a Masters and is a long shot to qualify. Hell, Gulbis is not even 200 points behind.

Realistically, you have to question Nishikori and Ferrer’s health. No doubt they can do well but Ferrer has been on and off and, again, will Nishikori’s body hold up? Raonic and Dimitrov will need to step and have big results. Same with Murray.

It’s a crap shoot. And it’s more or less the only thing that makes this part of the season interesting until WTF. I know the number 1 ranking is up for grabs but something tells me that’s not going to be as heated. Says:

It will be one of the great story lines next year watching if these 3-4 “kids” will remain ahead of Murray, or perhaps reach ahead of Fed, in 2015.

Don’t forget, Raonic and Wawrinka both fought a FRESH Nishikori much closer than Djokovic did to a tired one. Wawrinka may not win a Slam again but he will be a danger to every top player.

Polo Says:

RZ is absolutely correct it has to be the Big 4 with Murray on 4, not just Big 3 because there would be some holes there that have to be accounted for. Those 4 are like The Three Musketeers and Murray is their d’Artagnan. Like him, Murray is also the youngest.

Okiegal Says:

If the next group of “new” kids on the block (which are a long way from being kids, I might add) go deep into tourney after tourney, they will be plagued by injuries too…..wait and see. I think some are being too hard on Murray, he is one of the big four. I agree with RZ’s comment. Regarding injuries…..some wrote Rafa off, look what happened, he came back. Fed’s own fans right here on this forum were calling for his retirement and he’s back to #3. I won’t sell any of these top guys short, they love the game and the roar of the crowd. Records are made to be broken and that keeps them motivated. Kei, Grigor, Cilic, Milos……still got a lot to prove just yet! We will see what’s in store for us lowly fans!

MMT Says:

Oh, Okiegal – that’s a bit cynical. I certainly hope these young guns will break through without having to “die trying”, so to speak.

I also agree that it’s way to soon to write off the big 4, and they are a big 4 in my opinion. If you look at where they’ve been ranked, the titles they’ve won, and the major finals they’ve contested, nobody else in the game even comes close to them.

BTW – even though Raonic moves well for a guy his size and has a built in winner machine that bloody serve of his, I’d sell his stock before Nishikori’s or Dimitrov’s. He’s got the potential to be very good because he’s so driven, but in a way, his game may be less sustainable than Cilic’s, because he’s not consistent enough in his groundstrokes to beat the top players, who all eventually figure out his serve, and he’s not nimble enough to serve and volley and take that “weakness” off the table.

He has a major in him…maybe two, but I don’t think much more than that.

RZ Says:

Re: Murray’s luster (or lack of) – don’t forget he always won the Olympic gold. And frankly, his run between June 2012 and July 2013 was amazing – Wimbledon finals, Olympic gold, U.S. Open title, Shanghai Masters final, World Tour semi-final, Australian Open final, Miami masters title, and Wimbledon title. Sure it’s not up there with Djokovic’s 2011, but I say he had the best 12 months of anyone during that stretch and am a little miffed that he didn’t get the #1 ranking during that time. At the point where he won Wimbledon, he was the only guy who held 2 slams at one time, and I can’t believe that with the points from the Olympic title, Miami masters, and Aussie Open final, that he wasn’t ranked #1 for even a week.

RZ Says:

^ Sorry, “also won” not “always won”

Okiegal Says:

@MMT……Maybe I did talk out of turn in regard to the next group on the horizon…..but they have got some pretty big shoes to fill, in my books! I’ve said it once and I’ll say again I doubt if we ever see the caliber of players we’ve been used to. I’m not saying there’s not some very talented guys coming up, but can they do it week in and week out.
TBH, I’m not ready for the “old” dogs to retire….I have to laugh..old?? They are very young considering there are posters on here that are in their 60s and 70s!! LOL. Now that’s getting old!!

Enjoying the civil conversations, I might add. Thanks for the feedback!

the DA Says:

“the luster of Murray’s career has faded around here”

It was never fully acknowledged. Nothing new. These 3 posters (who never post) suddenly appeared just to knock Murray for kicks (waves at the Murray haters). The vast majority of players (active & retired legends) have considered him a part of that group for the last 5 years. No other player comes close to matching his consistency and Masters titles – the facts speak for themselves. Those opinions just shout ignorance.

“I really did think Murray would help his cause at the US Open”

You thought he’d beat Djokovic in the QF? Wow, I find that surprising based on your past posts about him.

Of course, the drop out of the top 10 sucks but I think everyone else is freaking out more than his fans are. They didn’t have high expectations after the operation. He’s the only guy apart from Djokovic to get to the QFs at all the slams – not too shabby. The last 3 events were both encouraging and worrying but there are good signs. I’m not going to freak – let’s see what happens in Asia and Europe.

An old cliché but pertinent: form is temporary, class is permanent.

Ben Pronin Says:

I didn’t expect him to, but it wouldn’t have been completely shocking. Keep in mind that’s technically Djokovic’s first “fast” court win over Murray.

Serious question, what are your expectations for Murray going forward? Not just these last 2 months but for the next few years and the rest of his career. He’s already 27. If Federer and all the other all time greats struggled to win big, what are the actual expectations for Murray?

I think after he won Wimbledon I thought his next goal would have been to get to number 1. I’m not sure that’s possible for him now. But at 27, with the wave of stronger players, and with the other big 4 still going deep, it’s not exactly going to get easier for him to win big titles.

I know it looks like I’m picking on Murray, but it’s only because he’s the least accomplished of the big 4 and has been struggling the most. I think it’s only going to get worse for all of them. Federer? I’d love to see him grab one more slam anywhere, but I doubt it happens. Djokovic? I just hope he gets a French Open but he’s also 27. And after this year’s US Open, I’m not sure he hits double digits. Just a French Open, which will put him at a respectable 8 slams. Nadal? He’s 28. His body has been betraying him for a long time. I think he makes a big push for 2015 Australia but it might be his last chance for that title. Until he’s beaten at the French again we have to call him the favorite. But everywhere else? I don’t know.

The guard hasn’t shattered completely but it’s getting older. I think we see more of these crazy surprises in 2015.

Polo Says:

Outside of the 4 major winners and Federer, who has done better than Murray in this year’s majors? He reached the SF at the French and QF in the other 3. That’s nothing to snicker at.

Michael Says:

This in a sense is an extraordinary year for Tennis and the one where two players outside the top four (By four,I am adding Andy here, although he has dropped considerably in the rankings) won majors and thereby brought in a whole gamut of issues into consideration as to whether this is the fall and fading of the Top four and the parallel rise of the new generation ? Whether Wawrinka, Cilic and Nishikori are the new Stars of Tennis ? Whether this is just a one off phenomenon or rather merely an accident which is not likely to sustain ? Whether the new crop of players have it in them to win more majors ? Ofcourse Cilic, Wawrinka were in a way lucky to win their respective majors. Cilic by virtue of the absence of Rafa and Wawarinka became a touch lucky when Rafa suffered with physical issues during the match. But still, a win is a win and they are worthy Champions who have made the sport interesting with their foray into the Temple of Tennis.

the DA Says:

My expectations going forward? I expect him to find his form again eventually. A couple of consecutive wins will do a world of good. His focus remains the slams but I hope Amelie emphasizes the importance of doing well at M1000s to build those ranking points.

I’m curious to see what his game will be like under Mauresmo when he eventually regains form. Judging by the matches with Tsonga & Djokovic it’s going to contain more variety and an explosive FH when switching from defense to offense.

Being 27 doesn’t worry me. He has made his way to 7 finals during the era of the big 3 so if Wawa & Cilic can win slams under fortuitous circumstances, he certainly can. I think Andy is capable of winning another 2 slams and several more Masters titles (and will surpass Sampras in M1000s). I’ll take it. Let’s see. 2015 is going to be an exciting year for many reasons. Says:

Okiegal, I agree that none of the new crop will match Novak, Fed and Rafa in records or in pure heights reached. But they will win some slams until the next superstar (Kyrgios?) comes along.

I think we’re finally off the cusp and right into the meat of a wide open, competitive era. Rafa and Novak are going to be favourites every time, but Fed has shown he can make finals and beat top tenners, Murray will probably still improve, Tsonga and Berdych are sticking around, and now we have a whack of new challengers (young or old) who can take these guys out. Should be an interesting Silly Season and a great 2015.

I’d call 2014 one of the most exciting seasons in years already, perhaps since Novak’s 2011 run.

Polo Says:

I see a lot of promising upcomig guys but I don’t feel that there is a superstar there yet. Kyrgios reminds me of Janowicz when he first came into the scene but unfortunately did not seem to have the temperament of a champion in the mold of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. Dimitrov looks like a lot of flash but not enough heat.

the DA Says:

News just in that Andy accepted a WC into Shenzen. Ferrer is the only top 10 player there so that 250 points should be relatively straightforward (never counting out Ferrer though). The same tweet said he accepted a WC to Beijing. Interesting that he would choose the 500 event with the tougher field.

Okiegal Says:

@TennisVagabond……. I think on a given day the big guns can be beat by one of the new up and comers……but can they do it consistently? Consistency is what separates the men from the boys.
I’m looking forward to 2015 in the realm of tennis. I think it’s going to be very interesting and exciting… will be akin to a good mystery….what will the outcome be!

jane Says:

rz, i wonder if andy didn’t reach number 1 because he skipped the french in 2013? i don’t remember how far off he was points-wise, but rafa came back in 2013 and won a lot too. it might have made a difference, though, that clay season?

the da, seems entirely reasonable expectations to me. i think he’ll make the wtfs. he has nothing to defend and often does well in asia.

RZ Says:

Jane, I agree that skipping the French did cost him some points and Nadal’s return to action where he came on strong in 2013 with all those clay court wins as well as Indian Wells prevented him from getting to #1. Also, Djokovic had strong results in most of the Masters 1000 tournaments to keep him ahead too. Andy has said that he needs to do better in the week-in week-out tournaments and that’s probably what kept him out of the #1 spot as Rafa and Djoker were contending for most of the Masters 1000 titles. Still, it’s unbelievable that after the Wimbledon title he had something like 9000 points and yet it wasn’t enough to be ranked #1.

Goose Egg Says:

Everyone debating whether Murray should be included in “Big 4” should read this very good and well-reasoned analysis:

For those that don’t read FiveThirtyEight, they did a lot of tennis articles/analyses during the US Open

Okiegal Says:

@Jane……I know some tennis fans don’t even want take into consideration about injuries, but imo Andy is clearly still having his back issues. As a match wears on, it’s very obvious it’s still there. (talking about five setters). I’m sure it’s easier to deal with in the 3 set format……just saying. I hope Andy gets straightened out……and also losing Lendl was a blow, imo.

RZ Says:

Thanks for sharing Goose Egg!

FedExpress Says:

no davis cup thread yet

richard leading with two sets to love against birdi.

i was sceptical about his inclusion and thought monfils would be better but he deserves his spot

FedExpress Says:

if france and switzerland meet in the final, what a cracker that would be

france would have home advantage right? final at roland garros

fed could collect his 2nd RG title heheheh

FedExpress Says:


dont think there will be a match in november at RG

would be too cold

FedExpress Says:

richard played out of his mind today

maybe the cilic win inspired him

FedExpress Says:

now the GOAT entering the court

come on

FedExpress Says:

i seriously thing gasquet and bolleli got a call from cilic who said both are easy, beath both of them in straights and so no worries

RZ Says:

For my fellow fans of British tennis – Ross Hutchins announced his retirement.

Polo Says:

Goose egg, thank you for that very interesting and objective article ftom FiveThirtyEight.

andrea Says:

murray obviously has been one of the strongest players prior to his back surgery, but IMO, it was a bit rushed to add him to the ‘big’ category. (big 3, big 4).

it’s a good thing that the USO final featured two players that don’t get all the media attention. there has been so much focus on the top 4 men’s players, to the detriment of the rest of the field.

there will always be a brighter spotlight on the elite of any sport, but having up and comers shine is great for tennis.

RZ Says:

Keep in mind that the term “Big 4” was in use before Murray won a slam. It was being used because of the overall consistency of the top 4 guys in winning not just the slams, but also the masters 1000 titles, and their dominance in reaching finals and semifinals of GS and Masters 1000 matches.

jane Says:

agree andrea; it’s good for the sport to have some breakthroughs, though hopefully the top guys remain in the mix for big titles.

Okiegal Says:

@RZ… are so right……consistency is the name of the game! I have been preaching that topic for awhile now……

Senorita Says:

It would be sad if Andy didn’t qualify for the WTF. A lot of British people will be very disappointed although I don’t think it will affect ticket sales. Andy himself will be gutted not to be a part of it for the first time after so many years.

If Scotland votes for independence Andy’s fragile English support will drain away. They’ve only just forgiven him for his joke about supporting anyone but England in the WC, made years ago. But that means that England is still looking for a successor to Fred Perry.

Senorita Says:

Andy can get back into the top 10 at YE if he wins one or two of the Asian swing, but if Rafa is playing I want him to win them all.

the DA Says:

@Senorita – I doubt he’ll be gutted. He said recently it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he didn’t make it this year and that the priority was to prepare well for 2015. And it’s not the first time in many years,he has had to withdraw twice: 2011 & 2013.

Why is Andy’s English support ‘fragile’? He’s the current SPOTY holder having received the vast majority of votea and the ovations for his return to Wimbledon this year were remarkably warm. I don’t think that’s going to evaporate over night just because Scotland becomes independent.

Senorita Says:

The English is a very fickle lot.

Senorita Says:

Correct: Are a very fickle lot.

Margot Says:

Andy and Mac are my favourite players of all time and that won’t change. I’m not “fickle” but then I’m not British….;)
In fairness, doubt if Colin’s opinion will change either.

Margot Says:

Oh Grrr…meant to say “I’m not English.”

the DA Says:

lol This thread has caused grammatical hiccups and identity crises ;)

Margot Says:

@the DA
Too true that…..must be upset of Andy dropping out of top 10, simply addling the “grey cells” now there’s a reference for you…;)
Of course I’m British, but not English.

jane Says:

i really can’t see andy losing english support if scotland gains independence. he’s won olympic medals playing for great britain. he’s ended the british drought at wimbledon. he’s well loved there, and beyond.

Hippy Chic Says:

^Exactly what a complete and utter load of POPPYCOCK to say the very least^….

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