Andy Murray will continue his bid to overtake Novak Djokovic at the top of the world rankings after committing to take part in the China Open in Beijing this week.
Murray has targeted Djokovic’s number one spot following a stellar summer, but after suffering a thigh strain in Great Britain’s Davis Cup defeat to Argentina a fortnight ago he said he was in need of a rest and would take a look at his schedule.
However, he has decided to play in Beijing and can close the gap on Djokovic by a healthy 1,000 points if he wins the tournament.
Djokovic pulled out earlier in the week, continuing a frustrating few months for the Serbian.
He suffered a surprise early exit at Wimbledon, later attributed to personal issues, while also suffering a first-round exit at the Olympics and withdrawing from the Cincinnati Open in August.
He came into the US Open with lingering fitness concerns, but made it to the final where he lost to Stan Wawrinka.
That has allowed Murray an unlikely sniff at the top spot and with plenty of points left before the end of the season, all of which Djokovic is defending owing to his superb 2015 form, an ascent to the summit is not out of the question before the end of the year.
Murray will be the top seed in Beijing and will face Italian Andreas Seppi, ranked 94 in the world, in the first round, with the Scot winning their last seven meetings.
Meanwhile, Kyle Edmund is through to the second round of qualifying after he beat Spaniard Pablo Andujar Alba 6-3 6-2 and will make the main draw if he can beat Evgeny Donskoy on Sunday.
However, Dan Evans lost his qualifier for the Japan Tennis Open Championships as he was downed by Akira Santillan 6-3 4-6 6-3.