Just 415 points in it as Murray’s Vienna win heats up No. 1 race
By Jake Davies
- Andy Murray  defeats Jo-Wilfried Tsonga  6-3 7-6 (6)
- Murray now flies to Paris as he continues his pursuit for the World No.1 ranking
VIENNA, AUSTRIA – Next stop Paris for Andy Murray as the race to become World No. 1 intensifies, after he claimed the Erste Bank Open title from a resurgent Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Andy Murray  defeats Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3 7-6 (6)
Murray claimed the Vienna title for the second time in his career following an entertaining, hard-fought win over Tsonga in straight sets on Sunday afternoon in Austria. Murray was seemingly dominating the early stages of the match, but a resurgent Tsonga pushed Murray to the brink in order to get the victory and salvage his third title in three weeks, after his title wins in Beijing and Shanghai.
When Murray led by a set and a break it looked as though he was going to coast towards the Vienna title, but Tsonga began to fire from the hip as he fired explosive forehand after forehand. Murray’s superiority from the baseline was clear to see and Tsonga changed his original game plan in order to compete with one of the season’s very best player. Tsonga decided to take matter into his own hands and try to force Murray to come up with superb passing shots. Altogether, Tsonga came to the net 38 times in comparison to just 8 as far as Murray is concerned. This illustrates that Murray was content to exchange from the baseline just as many would have expected, whereas Tsonga felt that his best way of winning was by shortening the points, asking questions to Murray’s passing shot game and executing perfect volleys.
Tsonga actually covered himself in glory in that particular department, but Murray always had an answer when it really mattered. As the pair prepared for a second set tiebreak, we saw the athleticism and commitment from both players who gave their all in order to get the victory in Vienna. The Frenchman thought he had hit the jackpot, when at 6-6, he struck a delightful half-volley, but Murray had another answer and delivered in sublime style at the net. Murray had a second match point and converted it with an ace in the corner of the service box. Tsonga put up a tremendous effort, but Murray’s intelligence and experience in the big moments that have contributed to his 42 ATP title wins, came to fruition as he won his seventh title of 2016.
In the space of ten months, Murray has made three of the four Grand Slam finals, made four finals at Masters 1000 level, which included wins in Rome and Shanghai, and defended his Olympics gold from four years ago.
It truly is one of the most impressive winning runs in ATP History. Murray is playing the kind of tennis that is worthy of a World No.1 and that could be confirmed as early as next week when he competes in the Paris Masters event.
What has to happen for No. 1?
If Novak Djokovic fails to reach the final in Paris, where is looking for a fifth title, and his fourth in a row, and if Murray was to win there, he would take over the World No. 1 for the first time in his career. However, if Djokovic reaches the final, he hangs onto the top spot… for now.
Keep up to date with the Paris Masters results and schedules
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