Shanghai knight Murray gallops towards top ranking

Monday, 17 October 2016 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

untitled-2Andy Murray holds the trophy after winning Shanghai Masters tennis tournament beating Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain - REUTERS


AFP: Andy Murray demolished Roberto Bautista to win the Shanghai Masters without dropping a set as he edged closer to Novak Djokovic’s world number one ranking on Sunday.

The Wimbledon and Olympic champion won seven points in a row in the first-set tie-break and he broke Bautista three times in the second to win his third Shanghai title 7-6 (7/1), 6-1.

The rampant Murray is now on a 10-match winning streak in which he has won 20 straight sets, including last week’s similarly impressive victory at the China Open in Beijing.

But most importantly, the world number two slashes the gap to just 915 points from the out-of-sorts Djokovic, who was shocked by Spain’s Bautista in the semis.

“I believe I can get there. I definitely believe I can get there. These last few months have proved that to me,” Murray said of the top ranking. 

“I may never get another chance to be number one, so I’ll give it my best shot to do that while I have the opportunity.”

With his 41st tournament victory and sixth this year, Murray joins Stefan Edberg in joint 15th place on the list of Open-era title winners.

Of greater concern will be his place in the rankings as he draws ever closer to the imploding Djokovic, who has hit a rocky patch after a period of sustained dominance.

“I will try and finish this year as strong as I can. And next year if the opportunity is there to reach number one, then I want to try and take it,” Murray said. 

“But it’s not going to be easy because Novak plays great tennis indoors, and also his record at the beginning of the year is phenomenal in Australia and Indian Wells, Miami.

“It’s going to be a tough thing to achieve that. I’m aware of that. I’m close-ish right now, but it’s going to be really tough still.”