World number two Andy Murray took his place in his eleventh final of the year as David Ferrer had to withdraw from their semifinal clash at the Erste Bank Open. To soften the blow slightly for the paying crowd in Vienna, missing out on what would likely have been a great match, Murray will take part in a 10 point exhibition match against home favorite Jurgen Melzer.
Defending champion struggling
Ferrer couldn't have had a much simpler time in his opening round match as Kyle Edmund retired after five games, but his two matches since then have been far from easy. Joao Sousa made for a tough battle in the second round, with Ferrer eventually winning in straight sets, but the Spaniard looked tired or in some sort of pain after a battle in the second set that went to a tie-break.
His quarterfinal match against Viktor Troicki was the best of the tournament, but he had to use everything he had left in the tank to come back from match point down. He then won four games in a row to break back as Troicki was serving for the match and broke again to seal the deciding set and an incredible win.
The exertions of these matches have hampered Ferrer with a left thigh injury. It is unclear whether this injury will affect his participation in the final tournament of the year, but if he recovers in time he is set to play at the BNP Paribas Masters next week. The Spaniard has received a first round BYE and will play either John Isner or Mischa Zverev in the second round.
Murray into a third straight final
Andy Murray will now bid for his seventh title of the year against big-hitting Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The pair's last encounter was an epic in the semifinals of Wimbledon, where eventual champion Murray took out Tsonga in five brutal sets.