Motivated Murray With Everything To Play For
Scot looking to keep his high level up
The chase is on in the battle for No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings and it’s a fight that Andy Murray hopes will bring out his best tennis in the closing stages of 2016.
The Scot narrowed the gap on World No. 1 Novak Djokovic to 1,555 points in the year-to-date standings after winning his fifth tour-level title of the season last week at the China Open in Beijing. The top spot may seem like a long way off, but with tournaments in Shanghai, Vienna, Paris and the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals still to come for Murray, he has 4,000 points to play for.
“I feel motivated,” said Murray. “I've got something to play for towards the end of the season, and that's important because that hasn't always been the case at this stage. I want to try and finish the year strong and give myself some momentum going to next year, as well. It's been a great few months for me.
“I have a chance [to get to No. 1 this year],” continued the Scot, who is looking to become the first Briton to reach the summit since the Emirates ATP Rankings began in 1973. “I don't know how big or small a chance that is. I'm still quite a long way behind Novak in the rankings and in the points. Novak's obviously going to win quite a lot of matches between now and the end of the year, too.
“I'll just keep trying to do what I have been doing. The past few months have been the best of my career and I'll give it my best effort to get as close as I can. Whether I do it or not, that's not the most important thing. I just need to try my best to do it. If I do that, I'll be happy at the end of the year.”
Murray comes into Shanghai full of confidence, having lifted the trophy in Beijing without losing a set, and doing so following a period of eight days’ rest after the Davis Cup.
“I'm very happy with how it's going,” said the Dunblane native. “Beijing worked out well. In the end I didn't have massive expectations there as I arrived very late and hadn't been practising much. So, I managed to get through my first couple of matches and then played really well at the end of the event, so that was good.”
Murray is due to open his campaign on Wednesday against Steve Johnson. The Scot is a two-time former champion in Shanghai, lifting the trophy in 2010 (d. Federer) and 2011 (d. Ferrer), while also finishing runner-up in 2012 (l. to Djokovic).