Andy Murray has won the China Open after a straight sets win over Grigor Dimitrov in the final.
The win against the Bulgarian is the fifth title of what has been an excellent season for Murray, one which has included winning his second Wimbledon title and retaining his Olympic crown with his second gold medal in Rio.
Dimitrov offered undoubtedly the toughest test of the week for Murray in Beijing, taking him to a tie-break in the second set after Murray took the first 6-4. The 25-year-old offered stiff competition for much of the final, including breaking the British number one in the final set.
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Murray has been a class above the competition in China, and didn’t drop a set during the tournament. World number 20 Dimitrov on the other hand made it to the final after his semi-final opponent, Milos Raonic, was forced to withdraw through injury.
Murray’s 40th career title, making him just the 16th man in the Open Era to reach 40 career wins, sees him close the gap on reigning world number one Novak Djokovic, who has dominated the worldwide game in the past few years.
Overtaking the Serb at the top of the rankings was one of the 29-year-old’s top targets, and he took advantage of Djokovic’s injury to close the sizeable gap at the top.
Murray will be hoping to use the ATP Masters tournaments in both Shanghai and Paris to close the gap further on Djokovic before the year is out, as well as the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London in November.
Victory in Beijing cuts Djokovic’s lead to 3695 points, and keeps alive his dream of toppling him by the end of 2016.
After the final, Dimitrov said “Andy is one of the toughest competitors out there and the credit goes to him.”