Murray targets ‘strong’ year-end to topple world number-one Djokovic
ANDY Murray easily claimed the China Open crown this past weekend, but that’s not all that the Scot is after as he closes in on Novak Djokovic’s top ranking. The second-ranked Murray is looking to close the points gap to Djokovic and cap a career-best season by topping the world rankings for the first time.
Murray made a convincing start to that campaign in Beijing, storming through the tournament without dropping a set before beating Grigor Dimitrov to claim his fifth title of the year and take him 1000 points closer to Djokovic’s long-held number one spot.
“It’s very positive leading into Shanghai, and hopefully I can finish the year strong,” Murray said in Beijing.
Djokovic wasn’t in the Chinese capital to defend his China Open crown, having pulled out with an elbow injury, but both are playing at this week’s Shanghai Masters.
Djokovic also won in Shanghai last year in what was one of the best seasons in tennis history, and currently sits at a 3005-point lead over Murray, who bagged both his second Wimbledon crown and an Olympic gold medal in 2016.
He also reached the final of the Australian and French Opens, but missed out on a second consecutive Davis Cup win when Great Britain lost to Argentina in the semi-finals.
As Murray aims to become the first British man to reach number one, he is already writing history with Johanna Konta.
The 25-year-old Sydney-born Briton broke into the top 10 with her run to the final at her maiden appearance at the China Open – the first British woman since Jo Durie in 1984 to achieve that feat.
It is the first time since computerised rankings were introduced that a British man and woman are ranked in the top 10 at the same time.
Konta is now looking to cap a stunning rise over the last 15 months from 146th to ninth with her first appearance at the WTA Finals in Singapore, which features the season’s top eight players. –
Andy Murray gestures after winning a point against David Ferrer of Spain during the men’s singles semi-final at the China Open in Beijing on October 8. Murray defeated Ferrer, and then went on to beat Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov on the final 6-4, 7-6 (2).