Mur­ray beats Tsonga for 3rd straight ATP ti­tle

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Andy Mur­ray closed in on the No. 1 rank­ing by win­ning his third straight ATP ti­tle at the Erste Bank Open yes­ter­day.

The Scot can over­take No­vak Djokovic atop the ATP rank­ings next week if he wins the Paris Masters and the Serb doesn’t reach the fi­nal. “I get a step closer with ev­ery win but it’s still a long way from here,” Mur­ray said.

Mur­ray de­feated Jo-Wil­fried Tsonga 6-4, 7-6 (6) for his per­sonal-best sev­enth ti­tle of the sea­son, and 42nd over­all. Djokovic has also won seven events this year. Mur­ray ex­tended his un­beaten streak to 14 matches af­ter also win­ning in Beijing and Shang­hai. The 15-ranked Tsonga, who was the 2011 cham­pion, ap­peared in his first fi­nal of the sea­son, which has been marred by ad­duc­tor and left knee in­juries. Mur­ray ad­vanced to the fi­nal af­ter de­fend­ing cham­pion David Fer­rer pulled out with a left leg in­jury, while Tsonga saved a match point in his 2 1/2-hour semi­fi­nal against Ivo Karlovic on Satur­day.

Mur­ray, who also won in Vi­enna on his only pre­vi­ous visit in 2014, dom­i­nated yes­ter­day’s fi­nal from the start. He raced into a 3-0 lead by tak­ing 14 of the first 19 points of the match.

He avoided break points in his games, and missed a set point on the French­man’s serve at 5-2 but clinched the open­ing set the next game with his sec­ond ace.

Mur­ray con­ceded just two points on his way to a 2-0 lead in the sec­ond set but started to strug­gle with his first serve as his per­cent­age dropped to 18 half­way through the sec­ond set.

He hit a fore­hand long on the only break point for Tsonga to help the French­man level at 4-4. Mur­ray missed his first match point in the tiebreaker as he net­ted a fore­hand re­turn, but closed out the win on his sec­ond chance with an ace. —AP

PHILADEL­PHIA: Sid­ney Crosby #87 of the Pitts­burgh Pen­guins skates past Mark Streit #32 of the Philadel­phia Fly­ers dur­ing the third pe­riod at Wells Fargo Cen­ter on Satur­day in Philadel­phia, Penn­syl­va­nia. —AFP

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