Mur­ray calm ahead of fi­nal as­cent bid

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

ANDY MUR­RAY in­sisted yes­ter­day he felt no ad­di­tional pres­sure ahead of his quest to wrest away the world’s top rank­ing from long-time in­cum­bent No­vak Djokovic at this week’s Paris Mas­ters.

Mur­ray ( car­i­ca­ture) can sup­plant Djokovic at the sum­mit by claim­ing a first ti­tle in the French cap­i­tal if the Serb fails to reach the fi­nal of an event he has dom­i­nated in re­cent times.

The Bri­ton has won three suc­ces­sive tour­na­ments – Bei­jing, Shang­hai and Vi­enna – to close in on Djokovic and would be­come the old­est new No. 1 since Aus­tralia’s John New­combe in 1974.

But the 29-year-old said his ap­proach would re­main the same and vowed to block out the hys­te­ria sur­round­ing his po­ten­tial as­cent to the top.

“It’s not in my con­trol. I can ob­vi­ously try and win my matches, but even if I win all of my matches this week, I still might not get there,” said Mur­ray.

“So it’s in No­vak’s hands. He’s ahead ob­vi­ously just now, so if he wins his matches and gets to the lat­ter stages of the last two tour­na­ments, then he’ll most likely keep the No. 1 spot.

“I wanted to fin­ish this year as strong as pos­si­ble, and I think there is a lot stronger chance of do­ing it in the early part of next year, which is what I tar­geted rather than this week.”

Mur­ray, who re­ceived a firstround bye, will be­gin his Paris cam­paign against for­mer world No. 7 Fer­nando Ver­dasco, af­ter the Spa­niard pro­gressed fol­low­ing the re­tire­ment of Dutch­man Robin Haase. – AFP

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