Andy Murray clinched a hat-trick of titles in spectacular fashion as he bested Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3 7-6 (8-6) in Vienna to win the Erste Bank Open.
Murray was playing his 78th singles match of the year and took control early on against the world number 11 ranked Tsonga, winning the first set with minimal fuss.
However, his opponent came back in the second, leaving Murray needing a tie-break to win, with the current world number two impressively clinching the title with a fifth ace on his second match point.
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It was Murray’s third straight ATP title and his seventh title of the season, a personal best for the Scotsman, and it now edges him closer to eclipsing Novak Djokovic at the top of the rankings.
Murray is now unbeaten in 14 matches, after winning tournaments in both Beijing and Shanghai, and will replace long-time tennis number one Djokovic providing he wins next week’s Paris Masters and the Serbian fails to reach the final.
Djokovic started the year off in incredible fashion, but has since failed to replicate the form that has made him the top seed in tennis for so long. The dip in form comes after securing his career Grand Slam at the French Open earlier this year.
The Serbian faced a shock defeat at Wimbledon, before breaking down in tears following a first round exit at the Olympic Games in Rio, amongst a host of other poor results.
However, as Djokovic has struggled, Murray has flourished, taking full advantage of the Serb’s recent shortcomings as the Scot slowly catches up with him in the rankings.
You can watch the moment Murray won the Vienna Open below.
The 29-year-old Murray has never been top of the rankings at any point in his career, despite being a three-time Grand Slam winner and two-time Olympic champion.
If Murray was to overtake Djokovic following the Paris Open, he would become the oldest ever first-time number one.
What do you make of Murray’s performances this season? Can he clinch top spot in Paris? Have YOUR say in the comments below.
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