Murray Win in Shanghai Moves Him up to World No. 3

Andy Murray of Britain waves to fans after his win over Michael Berrer of Germany during their second round match at the Thailand Open 2011 tennis tournament in Bangkok September 29, 2011 . REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom (THAILAND – Tags: SPORT TENNIS)

 

 

By Abigail Hinto

SHANGHAI, China – Andy Murray defeated David Ferrer 7-5, 6-4 to capture the Shanghai Rolex Masters tournament, his eighth Masters title. The victory will give the Scot the No. 3 ranking on the ATP World Tour as of Monday, knocking Roger Federer down to No. 4.

 

The Shanghai Rolex Masters final started with a tight first game as David Ferrer was broken after 10 minutes that featured four deuces.   Ferrer barely put a first serve in during that long first game.   Andy Murray and David Ferrer are known for their baseline prowess; they can construct points with their ground game and extend rallies with their defense.  But here at the Shanghai Rolex Masters especially, these two players had been serving really well.  When it mattered the most, Ferrer’s serve let him down.  Serving at only 44% in the first set, the Spaniard got tight at 5-5 and hit a backhand error into the net for break point down and double faulted the break away.  In contrast, Murray served to take the first set with two aces.  Ferrer’s serving woes continued in the second set as he screamed when he was serving at 1-1 after just breaking back Murray after missing another first serve again.

 

Ferrer summed up the match, “I fought a lot, but today it was impossible to beat Andy. He’s a very good player and person. I didn’t serve really good this match, also because Andy received very well and I had to play closer to the lines. Andy was better than me in the second set. Maybe in the first set I had my chances. [But] I played so bad this game (at 5-5). After I had a long time serving very bad. Anyway, is difficult to beat Andy in these moments. He is playing with (a lot of) confidence.

“I enjoyed the week a lot. Here in Shanghai, I’ve had the best moments of my career; I reached the final (of the Tennis Masters Cup) in 2007 and again this year. I hope to win next year.”

Murray capped off his finest streak on tour so far by completing an Asian triple, winning tournaments in Bangkok, Tokyo and Shanghai. He has now won 25 of his last 26 matches and is on a 15 match winning streak. He also leapfrogs Roger Federer to No. 3 at the ATP World Tour Rankings.

“This week I think overall it’s satisfying,” said Murray. “I didn’t necessarily feel like I played amazing tennis, I just think I did the right things, made it very difficult for my opponents, and managed to win a tournament of this size when I still felt like I could have played a little bit better.

“My goal for the last three-four months after the US Open was to try to finish as high as possible and win as many matches as I could. It’s obviously been a great start. But I’m still not guaranteed to finish at No. 3. I’m still going to have to win some more matches. But if you finish in front of Federer in a year, then there’s not many people the last five, six, seven years that have been able to say that. So that’s obviously a nice thing if I can do it.

“I was really happy with the way I stayed focused. It’s hard to explain. It’s almost you’d think the more matches you win, the less pressure you feel. I was hitting the ball well, but there’s still a little bit of tension because you want to try and keep the run going. I was really happy I managed to win today because it’s always very tough playing against him.

“I think the best thing about it is just winning matches. Even like today, I wasn’t necessarily playing my best tennis the whole way throughout, but I served well when I needed to, and that was it. I chased every ball down. I fought for every single point as hard as I could. That’s something you need to do if you want to win all the time.”

Murray’s serve that had been working well all week as he was serving at 63 percent for first serves. His forehand, thought to be the weakest part of his game has become very effective and more consistent.  He has been able to dictate rallies with his cross court forehand and go for winners with his forehand down the line.

 

But the question remains, when will Murray be able to bring this kind of game to a major?  This year has been his most successful year on the grand slam stage, reaching three semifinals and one final at the Australian Open.  He can beat the best of the best having a career head-to-head lead over Federer, being only the second player to beat Novak Djokovic this year, and recently besting Rafael Nadal in the Tokyo finals with a 6-0 3rd set.  There’s nothing more left for Murray to prove on the tour but to win that elusive first major title.

Singles – Final
[2] A Murray (GBR) d [3] D Ferrer (ESP) 75 64

Doubles – Final
[2] M Mirnyi (BLR) / D Nestor (CAN) d [3] M Llodra (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB) 36 61 12-10 – saved 2 M.P.