Murray Inches Closer In Battle For No. 1
Scot will play Tsonga for Vienna title
Andy Murray is now six wins and a Novak Djokovic loss away from achieving a lifelong dream of reaching No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
The Scot reached the Erste Bank Open 500 final on Saturday in Vienna because of a walkover from David Ferrer, who didn't play due to a muscle injury in his left leg. The 34-year-old Spaniard had spent two hours and 33 minutes beating Viktor Troicki on Friday.
“It was impossible,” Ferrer said of playing on Saturday. “I am disappointed but I have to be positive and will be ready for next season.”
Ferrer had conceded a walkover only one other time in an ATP World Tour tournament. In 2009, the Spaniard withdrew from his second-round match in Valencia. He's played 1,024 career matches.
Murray said: “Now I just try to get ready for the final, use today as a bit of rest day, practise a little bit on the centre court and then see what happens tomorrow.”
Sunday will mark Murray's 11th final of the season and a chance for his seventh title, which would be a career high and tie Djokovic for most in 2016.
The Scot will meet Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who beat Ivo Karlovic 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(6). Murray leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 13-2 and has won their past four contests.
Should Murray win the Vienna final, he'd move to within 415 points of Djokovic in the Emirates ATP Race To London. If that scenario plays out, to reach No. 1, Murray would need to win the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris next week and have Djokovic lose before the Paris final. If Djokovic reaches the final, he'll remain No. 1.
The 29-year-old Murray is trying to become the oldest first-time No. 1 since John Newcombe, at 30 years of age, on 3 June 1974.
Any shift in the order of the Top Two would be a dramatic change for both players. Djokovic has claimed the top spot consecutively since 7 July 2014. Murray first reached No. 2 in the Emirates ATP Rankings more than seven years ago, on 17 August 2009. On Monday, Murray will have spent 76 weeks altogether at No. 2.
Murray's Time As No. 2 In The Emirates ATP Rankings
|16 May 2016 - present||24 weeks|
|9 Nov. 2015 - 2 May 2016||26 weeks|
|12 Oct. 2015 - 26 Oct. 2015||Three weeks|
|17 Aug 2015||One week|
|13 May 2013 - 12 Aug. 2013||14 weeks|
|1 April 2013 - 15 April 2013||Three weeks|
|17 Aug. 2009 - 7 Sept. 2009||Four weeks|
The Scot has won 13 consecutive matches and leads the ATP World Tour with 68 match wins this season.
“Looking forward to it. It will be a tough match. Both Ivo and Jo are big servers and like playing indoors,” Murray said. “But I'm obviously motivated to try and finish the season as strong as I can and being in another final is obviously good. It's been a tough week. First couple of matches were really tricky but now I get the chance to play for the title and hopefully play my best match in the final.”