Andy wants Murr

> Un­fash­ion­able Mur­ray look­ing good for world No. 1

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

ANDY MUR­RAY (pix) has never been the most fash­ion­able mem­ber of ten­nis’s ‘Big Four’, but he fi­nally looks the part as he ze­roes in on the world No. 1 spot.

The 29-year-old swept past Roberto Bautista to win his third Shanghai Masters ti­tle, lift­ing his sixth tro­phy in what has been his best sea­son yet.

It could get bet­ter for Mur­ray, who can over­take Novak Djokovic at the top of the rank­ings with wins in Vi­enna and Paris, pro­vided the Serb doesn’t reach the Paris fi­nal.

It hasn’t done Mur­ray any harm that Djokovic has suf­fered a sud­den and per­plex­ing dip in form, and that Roger Fed­erer is side­lined by in­jury.

The one-time gawky kid still be­rates him­self dur­ing matches but he is far more com­fort­able with the me­dia, giv­ing ful­some and in­tel­li­gent an­swers to all ques­tions.

He is also pre­pared to de­fend and men­tor younger play­ers such as the way­ward Nick Kyr­gios, whose lat­est on-court melt­down re­sulted in a fine in Shanghai.

Phys­i­cally, too, Mur­ray is at his peak, with supreme fit­ness and ac­cel­er­a­tion that can shift his now- hulk­ing frame around the court at fright­en­ing speeds.

“Win­ning Wim­ble­don was re­ally a big boost to my con­fi­dence af­ter I had had quite a few tough losses in the Slams the last few years,” he said.

“That kind of gave me a lot more be­lief in my­self that I could win the ma­jor com­pe­ti­tions again. It helped mo­ti­vate me.”

Ob­sta­cles re­main and Mur­ray is wary of a re­turn to form by Djokovic, conservatively pre­dict­ing that February or March rep­re­sent his best chance of reach­ing No. 1.

“I will try and fin­ish this year as strong as I can. And next year if the op­por­tu­nity is there to reach No. 1, then I want to try and take it,” he said.

It has been some jour­ney for Mur­ray, who sur­vived the 1996 Dun­blane school mas­sacre when he was eight and moved to Spain to fur­ther his ten­nis ca­reer when he was 15.

But if he keeps his cur­rent tra­jec­tory, it won’t be long be­fore he be­comes Britain’s first world No. 1 un­der the ATP’s com­put­erised rank­ings, which were in­tro­duced in 1973. – AFP

REUTERSPIX

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