Andy Murray closes in on number one with Vienna triumph

October 31, 2016

Andy Murray has closed in on the world number one ranking by winning the Erste Bank Open in Vienna, meaning he could now be just one tournament away from overtaking Novak Djokovic.

The Scot defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3 7-6 in the final to secure his third successive tournament victory, continuing a superb run that has seen him lose just three matches since the French Open final. 

It means that he will head into the BNP Paris Masters this week chasing the 1,000 points that will put him top for the first time in his career if Djokovic does not reach the final. Should the Serb fail to get to the semi-final, Murray will only need to reach the final to go top.

Although Djokovic currently has points in the bank from winning last year's ATP World Tour Finals, these are discounted ahead of the tournament, and at that point Murray will go ahead under either of these Paris scenarios.

Discussing his chances ahead of Paris, Murray said: "I get a step closer with every win but it’s still a long way from here.

"From two to one seems a small jump in a way but it's the hardest one to make. To go from 100 to 50 is more spots but is a lot easier."

Fans booking corporate hospitality for the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena may be excited by the possibility of there being a new number one out on court, but even if Murray does not overtake Djokovic in Paris, he has still enjoyed a stellar year, with Vienna providing his seventh title of the year, equalling his best ever haul. 

Moreover, winning the end-of-season showpiece for the first time will itself be another target for Murray, as will the Australian and French Opens next year. Victory in both of those Grand Slams after losing this year's finals to Djokovic will give the British number one a career clean sweep of the major titles and put him well out in front at the top of the rankings.

Djokovic has been top of the rankings since winning the Championships, Wimbledon in 2014, when he overtook Rafael Nadal.

By Sam Coates

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