Murray gallops towards top ranking
ANDY MURRAY demolished Roberto Bautista 7-6 (7/1), 6-1 to win the Shanghai Masters without dropping a set yesterday, edging closer to Novak Djokovic’s world No. 1 ranking.
The Wimbledon and Olympic champion won seven points in a row in the first-set tie-breaker and broke Bautista three times in the second set to lift his third Shanghai title.
Second-ranked 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, Murray slashes the gap on slumping world No. 1 Djokovic, who was shocked by Spain’s Bautista in the semis, to just 915 ranking points.
“The last few months I’ve played very well in all of the tournaments and obviously I’m happy to be back in the final again here,” the 2010 and 2011 champion told the crowd, as celebratory gold glitter rained down on the Qi Zhong Stadium.
Ni n e t e e n t h - r a n k e d Bautista, who was playing his first Masters final, said Murray’s ambition was obvious.
“I think I can see it in his eyes. He’s really focused on getting No. 1,” the Spaniard said.
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. – AFP
Middlesbrough’s Christian Stuani (L) tackles Watford’s José Holebas (R) for the ball during their English Premier League match at Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough yesterday. –