World No.2 and Wimbledon champion Andy Murray won the Shanghai Masters Championship, beating Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(1), 6-1 in the final on Sunday. It was his 13th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title of his career, and 2nd of the season. The 29 year old also celebrated his 41st tour title, and back to back titles in China, having won the China Open last week.
“I did feel like I played better this week than last week. In all of the matches I was hitting the ball pretty clean,” said Murray, who had not dropped a single set over the course of the tournament.
The win also improved Murray’s push for Year End No.1. “I believe I can get there. I definitely believe I can get there. These last few months have proved that to me,” Murray said. “I’ll give it my best shot to do it, because I may never get another chance.”
With three more tournaments left in Murray’s schedule, including the ATP Masters 1000 in Paris and the World Tour Finals in London, Murray probably has the best opportunity to close his deficit over Djokovic. And with Djokovic not due to play until the Paris Masters, it seems to be all the more the case.
Roberto Bautsita Agut, the 28 year old Spaniard, was playing his first Masters Level Final last evening. In the semifinals, he recorded the biggest win of his career, by beating World No.1 Novak Djokovic in straight sets. And given the run of his life, it would seem fitting for him to win the title.
But Murray, who is capping his best year on tour, which include the Wimbledon Championship and two Masters Titles looked in no mood to allow that.
The Brit took a strong lead, but could not serve out the first set, despite holding three set points while serving at 5-4. Bautista Agut quickly bounced back, but Murray showcased his superiority in the tiebreak, allowing Bautista Agut to win just one point.
The second set was routine display by Murray, who proved too good for his opponent, as he sealed a victory with an overhead smash.
With the form he has showcased this past season, there seems to be no answer to Murray’s play, and the race for World No.1 has just heated up. With the gap closing, Murray has a real opportunity, if Djokovic fails to make it to the finals of the Paris Masters, for it is a tournament he is a defending champion of.