Murray Puts Djokovic and No. 1 Ranking On Alert After Shanghai Title
by Staff | October 16th, 2016, 8:55 pm

World No. 2 Andy Murray put down some early resistance by Roberto Bautista Agut, beating the Spaniard 7-6(1), 6-1 in the Shanghai Rolex Masters final on Sunday.
Bautista Agut had upset world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinals. With three tournaments left on his schedule including the year-end championships, and Djokovic’s wavering motivation, Murray is seeing the opportunity to steal the top spot.

“I believe I can get there,” the Brit said. “I definitely believe I can get there. These last few months have proved that to me. I’ll give it my best shot to do it, because I may never get another chance.”

It was the sixth title of the year for Murray, the 13th career Masters title, and 41st overall title.

“I did feel like I played better this week than last week,” Murray said. “In all of the matches I was hitting the ball pretty clean.”

The Shanghai title comes on the heels of the China Open crown last week in Beijing, and sees the Brit on a 10-match winning streak winning all 20 sets.

Some more Murray numbers from the ATP: Murray has now won six tour-level titles in a season for the first time since 2009. By winning his 41st title, the 29-year-old ties former Swedish No. 1 Stefan Edberg for 15th place on the Open Era titles list. Murray also passes Aussie Lleyton Hewitt for 20th place on the Open Era match wins list with his 617th career match victory.

Bautista Agut had won Auckland and Sofia this year, and fell to 2-2 in finals this year and 4-5 career.

“I’m going to learn from all the success I had this week,” Bautista Agut said. “It’s going well.”

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14 Comments for Murray Puts Djokovic and No. 1 Ranking On Alert After Shanghai Title

Margot Says:

“It is the dawning of the age of Andreus.” I hope ;)
Lol Vienna is now in Sweden tho.

Van Persie Says:

Andy will perhaps shut the lights of the Golden Era off, as the last from the Big 4 in good form for the moment :)

Tennis Vagabond Says:

VP, you could be right, but it won’t be anytime soon.
Novak will come roaring back, even if Fed and Rafa can’t do better than top ten.

Temple made a long comment on the other thread lambasting Novak’s Zen-ness: here’s the thing. This attitude is not new. Novak went in this direction in 2011. All his greatest success has come since he began speaking in such terms, which became even a bigger part of his personality over the last two years. To criticize the attitude that brought Novak a GS is absurd (and maybe the best 18 months of tennis of all time).

(Others routinely bash Novak’s diet when he loses. Which makes a lot of sense. He’s only won, what 11 Slams gluten free, and 4/6 without meat… terrible results, obviously)

Novak is in a bit of a slump. His last tourney win was July. However, there have only been 4 tournaments since (for him) and he made the finals of the biggest. I wouldn’t go writing him and Zen off just yet.

Van Persie Says:


Well, I really hope, I am not right. Did read that post from Temple and really liked it. It is up to Nole now, but we also do not know exactly how healthy he is. Time will tell.
At the and of YEC last year he looked exhausted, but came stronger back starting with Doha.
Perhaps 2017 will be Andy’s year, and I really hope he will have in Novak a strong rival, otherwise he will be bored :)

Daniel Says:

I think Novak should be #1 with 2 slams, another final and 4 Maters.

But of Murray indeed is to take #1 from Novak he will probably have to win WTF and reach semis in Paris he would have 1 Slam, 2 finals , 2 ‘asters and WTF. Alao Olympics, which this tear didn’t award any points. Last Olympics in 2012 Andy got 750 prs and if he gor those points this year he would be 1 more Round robin win away from novak, just 165 pts shy.

So, if Andy does wins WTF and mathmativally is #1 he will be deserving, even with 1 Slam compared to Novak’s 2. This happened before.

MMT Says:

This just demonstrates the absurdity of the #1 ranking – even on the men’s tour – which has benefitted from world #1’s who have coincidentally dominated the majors. It has happened before, and it was equally absurd.

The fomulation of #1 ranking is an illusory standard which changes frequently, and doesn’t necessarily convene with what really matters in tennis. Ask Andy Murray if (in his heart of hearts) he would prefer to be #1 or win more majors, and I guarantee he’d prefer more majors.

Having said that, I would be very surprised if he were able to usurp Djokovic in the rankings. First, there’s a lot of tennis left to be played, and Djokovic is still the best player in the world (his last few tournaments notwithstanding). Also, the cost of chasing the points at the end of the year compromised the start of his 2014 campaign, and I suspect would do the same in 2017, were he to make a push for the fool’s gold of the #1 ranking.

I’d prefer to see him shut it down and get strong to claim his first Australian Open after losing 5 finals.

elina Says:

Nah, Murray can become No. 1 as soon as Nov. 7 before WTF if he wins Vienna and Paris and Nole fails to make the final in Paris.

Margot Says:

But MMT us, Murray maniacs might think he could do both…:)

Daniel Says:

Also, Murray hasn’t lost a set in those 10 matches. This is telling of his mental state. And to be honest, had he not collapsed agaisnt Kei we could have a very different story. Maybe he would have beaten Wawa handly and win or lsoe against Djoko in USO. Coulda, woulda, shoulda but Kei twice spoil the party in USO and changed history books without him getting the trophy.

Willow Says:

Andy has had an amazing year no question, although IMO when push comes to shove Novaks year has still been better, winning two of the 4 GS its a no brainer, so Novak still deserves to end the year world number 1 ….

Having said that its fantastic to see Murray making such a huge statement, saying it might be yours Novak, but i sure as hell am going to make you work hard to keep it, and even if i dont get it this year, im going to try to take it next year, i always said he was too friendly with Novak, and hopefully now with having Lendel back on board, hes instilled some much needed balls into Murray, and some hatred into him ….

elina Says:

Murray would have definitely beaten Wawa in the final. Nole had already mentally checked out.

Muzza on fiyah!!!

jalep Says:

We be on the same page today, elina ‚úč

Nole has to find his right balance between Road Rage and OTT Zen, humming and smiling during intense competition/winning. Get the right passion and be a warrior (he knows how) but not too far gone to the extreme right or left. Moderation with an edge toward a fighting aggressive energy to win.

He’ll get it right.

When he was humming and smiling he didn’t appear to have the calm aggression he was going for — he appeared…weird, maybe a sarcastic vs Mischa Zverev. Against RBA he went bonkers – not terribly, I’ve seen worse, much worse. Losing to Mischa might have been a novelty, in an ironic way. Losing to RBA is not okay!

RZ Says:

@Daniel – interesting point about Murray possibly becoming #1 with only 1 slam, while Nole has 2. In July 2013, Andy had 2 slams (2012 US Open and 2013 Wimbledon), while Nole and Rafa each had one, but Andy still wasn’t ranked #1. It would be ironic if it happened now with only one slam.

Margot Says:

Ironic and just.

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