Mur­ray masters Shang­hai to close on top rank­ing

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

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 num­ber one 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 num­ber one 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.

Nine­teenth-ranked 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 num­ber one,” the Spa­niard said.

Mur­ray’s first serve of the match was a thump­ing ace and he took a grip on the open­ing set at 3-3 when Bautista net­ted a back­hand to lose the first break point of the match.

But Mur­ray, serv­ing at 5-4, lost three set points and got in a tan­gle on a drop shot to hand Bautista his first break point, which he con­verted with a strong fore­hand.

The Bri­ton slammed three con­sec­u­tive aces for 6-6 and dom­i­nated the tie-break, win­ning seven points in a row and tak­ing the set with a siz­zling back­hand re­turn.

A string of Bautista er­rors put Mur­ray a break up at the start of set two, but to his ob­vi­ous frus­tra­tion he gave it straight back with a mis­cued fore­hand.

But Bautista twice dou­ble-faulted to go a break down be­fore hand­ing over yet an­other break, mak­ing vic­tory a for­mal­ity for Mur­ray who tucked away his first cham­pi­onship point.

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.

Photo: AFP

Andy Mur­ray cel­e­brates after win­ning his men’s sin­gles fi­nals match against Roberto Bautista Agut at the Shang­hai Masters.

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