Andy Murray's pursuit of qualification for the ATP World Tour Finals has gained momentum after sealing victory over Jurgen Melzer in the opening round of the Valencia Open.
Following victory over David Ferrer in the Vienna Open last week, the British number one edged closer to confirming a top-eight spot in the rankings that will guarantee him a place in the final event of the season in November with a 6-3 6-3 victory over his Austrian opponent.
Murray will meet Italian Fabio Fognini in the second round.
Murray moved into eighth place thanks to victory over Ferrer in the Austrian capital on Sunday 19 October and his chances of qualification were handed a further boost after Tomas Berdych crashed out in Spain in the first round.
Currently seventh in the rankings, Berdych could not replicate the form that saw him win the Stockholm Open last week as he fell to Pablo Andujar in a 6-3 6-2 straight sets defeat.
The Czech sat 220 points ahead of Murray at the beginning of the competition in Spain on Monday 21 October.
With 500 points up for grabs, Murray can move ahead of his immediate rival should he succeed this week, with a further 1,000 points up for grabs at the Paris Open.