In-form Andy eyes top spot
Murray closes on Djokovic after sixth title win of the year
Andy Murray proved once again why he is the dominant force in men’s tennis as he brushed aside Roberto Bautista Agut to win his sixth title of the year.
With Roger Federer injured, Rafa Nadal still trying to regain his confidence and Novak Djokovic dealing with the effects of a mentally exhausting season, Murray is taking full advantage.
The only thing left is the top ranking and he’s closing in fast on that, too.
It may be difficult to catch Djokovic this year, but Murray is already looking ahead to next season.
“I will try to 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,” said Murray after his 7-6 6-1 victory over Bautista Agut.
“It’s going to be a tough thing to achieve that. I’m aware of that.
“But I believe I can get there. These last few months have proved that to me. But Novak will win matches. He is the best player in the world.
“I don’t think he has lost an indoor [match] in a long time.”
Murray is now within 915 points of Djokovic after a stunning run of form that has seen him win 20 sets in succession following on from his victory at the China Open in Beijing a week ago.
The Scot’s form is certainly on an upward curve and he is pleased with how changes to his game have made a significant difference. “In the last few months, I have won a lot of matches and made improvements,” he added. “I have been moving forward better and changed the direction of the ball better. “I have also come up with some bigger serves when I have needed them.” Murray’s victory in Shanghai was his 41st career title and achieved with very little fuss once he had comfortably negotiated a first set tie-break.
Things went with serve until Murray broke his Spanish opponent to take a 4-3 lead but when Bautista Agut broke back and then made it 6-5, Murray took the first set to a tie-break with a love game.
He cruised through the tie-break 7-1 to make it 19 sets won in a row before three breaks of service, to his opponent’s one, in the second set eased the Briton into a 5-1 lead.
From there he made no mistake, closing out the match with a succession of big second serves and some powerful groundstrokes.
Such was his dominance that even Bautista Agut feels it’s only a matter of time before he is world No. 1.
“Andy is doing everything to get Novak,” said the Spaniard.
“I can see it in his eyes. He’s really focused on getting No. 1”