Murray Wins Shanghai, Draws Closer To Novak
Brit wins his sixth title of the season
Andy Murray ratcheted up the pressure on Novak Djokovic in the battle for No. 1 after beating Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(1), 6-1 during the Shanghai Rolex Masters final on Sunday. The Brit won his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title of the season and the 13th of his career. The 29 year old also celebrated his 41st career tour-level title.
“I did feel like I played better this week than last week. In all of the matches I was hitting the ball pretty clean,” Murray said.
The win marked his third Shanghai Rolex Masters championship, tying him with Novak Djokovic for the most Shanghai titles. The Scot will try to reach Djokovic in the Emirates ATP Rankings later this year as well.
By winning Shanghai, Murray closes the gap between himself and World No. 1 Djokovic to 915 points in the Emirates ATP Race To London. Murray has three tournaments remaining on his 2016 schedule. The season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals could play a pivotal role in deciding who finishes as year-end No. 1.
"I believe I can get there. I definitely believe I can get there. These last few months have proved that to me,” Murray said. “I'll give it my best shot to do it, because I may never get another chance.”
The Brit had the look of a player determined to finish the season strong on Sunday against Bautista Agut, who was vying for his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title. Murray converted his only break point in the first set and looked to have the opener in hand while serving 5-4, 40/15. But Bautista Agut rallied and erased three set points to break the second seed and tie the set at 5-all.
They exchanged holds until the tie-break, which Murray controlled. Bautista Agut sprayed a forehand wide and lifted a tight backhand long to hand Murray a 4/1 lead. Murray blasted a backhand service return winner cross-court to clinch the opener.
The Scot held and broke to start the second set, seizing the match's momentum. He'd spike an overhead on his first match point to celebrate his 10th consecutive win, having won the China Open in Beijing a week ago. Murray last lost a set on 16 September during Davis Cup competition against Juan Martin del Potro.
“Andy is doing everything to get Novak. If he continues playing like this and working like that... He's really focused on getting No. 1," Bautista Agut said.
Murray has now won six tour-level titles in a season for the first time since 2009. By winning his 41st title, the 29 year old ties former Swedish No. 1 Stefan Edberg for 15th place on the Open Era titles list. Murray also passes Aussie Lleyton Hewitt for 20th place on the Open Era match wins list with his 617th career match victory. The Brit will receive 1,000 Emirates ATP Rankings points and $1,043,375.
Bautista Agut was trying to win his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title and third title of the season (Auckland, Sofia). The Spaniard celebrated the biggest win of his career on Saturday, defeating Djokovic for the first time in six tries and earning his first victory over a player ranked No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
The 28-year-old Spaniard climbs to 13th place in the Emirates ATP Race To London, 865 points behind eighth-placed Dominic Thiem. The top eight players at the end of the season will qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, to be held 13-20 November at The O2 in London.
“I'm going to learn from all the success I had this week,” Bautista Agut said. “It's going well.”