Andy Murray continues his qualifying assault on the ATP World Tour Finals in London this week by playing at the Valencia Open for the first time in four years.
Murray was victorious against David Ferrer in the Vienna Open final on Sunday (19 October) to move himself into eighth in the race to London standings. He is one of three players at Valencia in contention for the final qualifying berths.
Top seed and home-favourite Ferrer, champion in 2008, 2010, and 2012, and Tomas Berdych are both in the draw and stand in the way of Murray's third title of 2014 in five tournaments.
Ferrer starts his campaign against Andreas Seppi and is on course for a semi-final meeting with Murray, while Berdych takes on Pablo Andujar in the opposite half of the draw.
27-year-old Murray will likely have to overcome Melzer, Fabio Fognini, and Kevin Anderson before facing Ferrer for a third straight week as the pair duel for the final qualifying spot at the O2 Arena.
"The next few weeks are extremely important," said Murray. "Everyone is playing next week. I just need to win as many matches as possible to keep hold of the eighth spot or go higher."
With no points to defend, Murray's position will improve should he reach the second round while Ferrer – a beaten finalist last year – has points to defend in Valencia but could yet leapfrog the Briton by taking the title with just 110 points separating the pair.
US Open champion Marin Cilic became the fifth confirmed qualifier for London over the weekend alongside Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Stanislas Wawrinka.
Kei Nishikori, beaten by Cilic in the Flushing Meadows final, is the next player on course to qualify - however, he has decided not to play this week ahead of the Paris Masters.