Andy Murray is now just 915 points away from supplanting, Novak Djokovic as world number one, an ambition he has set for himself.
The Briton consolidated his catch-up race in Shanghai this afternoon, after defeating Roberto Bautista Agut, the 19th ranked Spaniard who dumped out Djokovic in the semi finals.
Murray has now won back-to-back titles in China, winning first the China Open in Beijing and the Shanghai Rolex Masters title, his third. He won it in 2010 and 2011.
Murray grabbed the first set 7-6(1) against Agut in Sunday’s final.
The Scot converted his only break point and looked to have the set in hand while serving up 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. The Spaniard sprayed a forehand wide and lifted a tight backhand long to hand Murray at 4/1 lead. The Brit blasted a backhand service return winner cross-court to clinch the opening set.
In the second set, Murray was in cruise control, blasting the Spaniard away, 6-1.
The Brit has won nine consecutive matches and his last 19 sets. He had also won the Shanghai Masters twice before.
Bautista Agut has never won the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title.
“In the last few months, I have won a lot of matches and made improvements,” Murray told Sky Sports.
“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.
“My goal wasn’t to finish number one at the end of this year but in the early parts of next year there is an opportunity – 900 points doesn’t seem like loads.
“But Novak will win matches. He is the best player in the world. I don’t think he has lost an indoor game in a long time.”
The BBC reported that Djokovic is not due to play until the Paris Masters, an event he has won three years in a row and four times in total.
“But were Murray to win in both Vienna and Paris, then due to the vagaries of the way the rankings are calculated, he would become world number one if Djokovic failed to reach the final in the French capital,”, the BBC said.