On Sunday, Andy Murray solidified the status of his 2016 season as the most successful in his career, winning his third Shanghai Rolex Masters title in a 7-6 (1), 6-1 victory over surprise finalist Roberto Bautista Agut.
Murray stepped his game up in an even first set and that deficit proved to be too insurmountable for Bautista Agut, who took out Novak Djokovic in the semifinals.
Murray set some notable career milestones this week:
-Matches career-high with sixth title of season (2009).
-By merely reaching the final, he sealed his first season with 10 finals played. His previous high was seven.
-Posts his sixth season with multiple Masters titles (2008-11, 2015; all with 2 titles). Only Djokovic (8), Rafael Nadal (8), Roger Federer (7) and Ivan Lendl (7) have more.
-Started tournament tied with Andy Roddick for 21st in career wins in the Open Era. With the five wins this week, he broke the tie with Roddick at 612 and passed Lleyton Hewitt’s 616, putting himself in the top 20. (He’ll also likely pass Thomas Muster’s 621 in the coming weeks.)
-His 13th Masters title (matching Boris Becker) and 20th (matching Stefan Edberg) move him into ties for ninth on both lists. He also moved into sole place of ninth for Masters semifinals, with 32, breaking a tie with Becker and Pete Sampras. becomes sole holder for fourth for hardcourt Masters titles, with 11, passing Becker and Lendl.
Murray moves even closer to Novak Djokovic for the top ranking. The scenarios are laid out very succinctly here:
Reason it can happen so soon is that last year's ATP World Tour final points drop off BEFORE the tournament starts. The breakdown here: pic.twitter.com/qRenbc08OQ
— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) October 16, 2016
Andy in joy winning the title almost hit the line judge. LOL pic.twitter.com/inV7z8CFFG
— moruni (@morunien) October 16, 2016
News of the Week
-In the WTA, Dominika Cibulkova (Linz), Caroline Wozniacki (Hong Kong) and Peng Shuai (Tianjin) picked up minor International level titles. Cibulkova clinched her spot for the WTA Finals in Singapore (as did Garbine Muguruza, who rolled her ankle and retired in the third set earlier this week), Wozniacki’s hot streak (U.S. Open semis and two titles) has her back in the top 20, and Peng’s title was the first of her career. World No. 1 Angie Kerber took a 6-3, 6-1 loss to Dasha Gavrilova in Hong Kong, looking fairly disinterested per those who watched the match.
-Nadal will announce on Tuesday whether he will shut it down for the year. Nadal is pretty safe to qualify for the World Tour Finals, but after another poor loss – this time in his first match in Shanghai to an on fire Viktor Troicki – he and his team are debating if playing Basel and Bercy will help set him up strong for 2017. Defending a big chunk of his current points the rest of the year is a big factor.
-Jack Sock and John Isner partnered in Shanghai and ended up winning the whole tournament, punctuated by a semifinal win over their Davis Cup teammates, the Bryan Brothers. It’s Sock’s seventh Masters final in doubles (1-6), the first without Vasek Pospisil. Isner, surprisingly, made three finals (1-2) with Sam Querrey years ago.
1st ATP Masters Under 21 will be held next year in Milan. 5 days, 8 players (7 based on ranking, 1 wildcard), round rubin + semis + final.
— Michal Samulski (@MichalSamulski) October 10, 2016
-Racquet smash of the Week:
-Djokosmash of the Week:
Novak Djokovic says he will continue to work with Boris Becker for rest of the season. But next year? Djokovic: "We haven't talked about it"
— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) October 13, 2016
-Postponed from November:
I’ll miss playing this fall but will be back to Switzerland with Match for Africa 3 on Apr 10, 2017,playing 2x Olympic champion @andy_murray
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) October 12, 2016
Simon's loss means Alexander Zverev will become the first teenager to make the top 20 since Del Potro in 2008.
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) October 15, 2016
Frances Tiafoe first man born in 1998 to make the ATP top 100. pic.twitter.com/mS6pXy7MIF
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) October 10, 2016