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Murray targets strong finish to 2011

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Originally published on: 08/11/11 10:28

A ‘freak’ injury may have ruled him out of the Swiss Indoors in Basel last week before a ball was struck, but Andy Murray wont be weighed down by his fleeting gluteal muscle problem as he looks to end 2011 on a high in Paris.

After winning 25 of his past 26 matches and picking up the Bangkok, Tokyo and Shanghai titles, the Scot can cement his newly acquired No.3 ranking for the year in Paris and could even secure the No.2 spot before his season is out if he continues his good form.

As for pulling out of Basel ahead of his opening round clash with Robin Haase, Murray said: “It was just a freak thing last week. I woke up feeling really sore in the hamstring and glute. I think it was just like a trapped nerve so it just took a few days to get rid of that.

“But over the last couple of days I’ve got some good practice in and I feel absolutely fine.”

Murray has never been beyond the last eight in Paris-Bercy and lost in the quarter-finals to Gael Monfils last year, but despite his run of good form in recent tournaments, he is already thinking about the final event of the year in London.

“I’ve actually always played well at the O2 but I’ve never managed to get to the final or win it, so this year I’d like to try and do that,” said the Scot.

“It’s a big challenge – not many guys have been able to win it. But this week I need to try and get some matches in; I don’t really want to go in there with not having played a match for five or six weeks.”

As for sneaking his way to the No.2 ranking by the end of the year, Murray didn’t fancy his chances.

“It depends on how Rafa does, really,” said the 24 year old. “I would obviously have to win pretty much every match and he would have to blow it for the rest of the year.”

But first comes Paris, and while Murray rarely needs an incentive to win a tournament that has Roger Federer in the field, how about this for another – fellow Brits Greg Rusedski (1998) and Tim Henman (2003) have both lifted titles at the Palais Omnisports in Bercy in the past.

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