VIENNA: Andy Murray continued his march towards the world number one slot and ramped up the pressure on Novak Djokovic by winning the Vienna Open on Sunday.
The 29-year-old Scot swept past Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) in the final to earn his seventh title of the year.
The Olympic and Wimbledon champion can take over the world number one ranking from Djokovic if he wins next week’s Paris Masters and the Serb fails to reach the final.
He can also take over top spot if he reaches the final and Djokovic loses before the semis in the French capital.
Murray took his recent run to 15 straight victories, in which he has picked up the China Open and Shanghai Masters titles as well.
He now has 42 career titles and a second in Vienna, after also winning in 2014.
“I think I played my best tennis of the tournament today,” said Murray, who praised Tsonga’s fighting spirit in the second set.
“Jo fought well and started playing a lot better. He was more aggressive and taking some more chances and making the shots.”
Murray broke early in each set before his only blip allowed the Frenchman and sixth seed to break back and level at 4-4 in the second set.
It was a 14th defeat in 16 meetings with Murray for Tsonga, whose run to the final did at least keep alive his slim hopes of reaching the season-ending World Tour Finals in London.
Tsonga said he would be happy to see Murray take the world number spot in Paris next week — on one condition.
“Next week you have a chance maybe to be the number one. I hope it’s going to be the case, except if I play against you in the final!”