Andy Murray closed in on world No.1 Novak Djokovic after winning his sixth title of the year with victory at the Shanghai Masters.
The Scot beat Roberto Bautista Agut, Djokovic’s semi-final conqueror, 7-6 (7-1) 6-1 in 96 minutes to extend his winning run to 10 matches after triumphing at the China Open in Beijing a week ago.
Victory in Shanghai, Murray’s 41st career title, cut the gap to Djokovic to 915 points.
— ATP World Tour (@ATPWorldTour) October 16, 2016
The first set 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 where he closed out the match with a number of 160km/hr second serves and powerful groundstrokes.
The Scot now has his eyes set on the No. 1 prize.
“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,” Murray said.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Caroline Wozniacki struggled over three sets with Kristina Mladenovic before finishing off a 6-1 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 victory at the Hong Kong Open to earn the 25th title of her career.
Denmark’s former world No.1 has now won two titles in four Asian events after taking out the Tokyo trophy last month.
Wozniacki denied doubles ace Mladenovic, a reigning Roland Garros champion and finalist at two other grand slams, a first career singles title in a battle lasting for 2 hours, 40 minutes.
Mladenovic has come up unlucky in two finals this season, losing at s’Hertogenbosch to Coco Vandeweghe.
Wozniacki now stands 3-0 over the Frenchwoman, whom she defeated twice in 2014.