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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports Shorts: Murray ousts Ferrer to boost London bid

Sports Shorts: Murray ousts Ferrer to boost London bid

October 26, 2014 12:43 IST

Andy Murray of Great Britain celebrates defeating David Ferrer of Spain in the semi-final on day six of the ATP 500 World Tour Valencia Open tennis tournament. Photograph: Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Andy Murray took another step towards securing a berth at next month's World Tour finals when he fought off a typically dogged David Ferrer to win 6-4, 7-5 and move into the final of the Valencia Open on Saturday.

A wildcard at the Spanish indoor hardcourt event, which he won in 2009, 10th-ranked Murray is eighth in the race to secure a spot at the season-ending tournament in London and will play unseeded Spaniard Tommy Robredo in Sunday's showpiece.

Robredo, a semi-finalist in Valencia in 2008 when the event was played outdoors on clay, edged Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 7-6, 7-6 in Saturday's second semi-final.

Murray has been on a late-season charge and won the Vienna title last week when he came from a set down to beat world number five Ferrer in the final.

"After the U.S. Open I was aware that I would need to win a lot of matches to try to reach the Tour Finals," Murray told a news conference.

"So it was important for me to try and get as many matches as I can against the top players between now and the end of the year."

Top-seeded Spaniard Ferrer, who was chasing a fourth Valencia trophy after triumphs in 2008, 2010 and 2012, remains well placed to make the Tour finals and, along with Murray, will look to secure his spot by collecting points at next week's Paris Masters.

Milanic fired after 32 days as Leeds boss

Darko Milanic. Photograph: Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Leeds United's trigger-happy owner Massimo Cellino fired his second manager of the season on Saturday when Slovenian Darko Milanic parted company with the English Championship club after just 32 days at Elland Road.

Milanic, who was appointed on Sept. 23, was sacked after Leeds were beaten 2-1 at home by Wolverhampton Wanderers in their second tier game, meaning Milanic failed to win any of his six matches in charge.

He had seemed on course for his first victory with 23 minutes remaining and Leeds winning with a first-half goal from Mirco Antenucci.

Yet Wolves levelled after 67 minutes through James Henry and an 85th-minute goal from Leon Clarke gave Wolves victory and sealed Milanic's fate.

"I want to apologise to the supporters, they deserve better results," said Cellino on the club's Twitter account, where a statement confirmed Milanic's departure.

He lasted less than half the time of his predecessor Dave Hockaday.

Hockaday became manager on June 19 but was sacked 70 days later on Aug. 28, six games into the season.

Cellini, who dismissed 36 managers during his 22 years in charge of Italian club Cagliari, has now fired three managers since taking over Leeds six months ago with Brian McDermott the first to go in June.

Leeds, who were European Cup runners-up in 1975, are 18th in the Championship, five points above the relegation zone.

Neil Redfearn, who acted as caretaker manager between the brief reigns of Hockaday and Milanic, will return as permanent manager from Monday.