Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images via Daylife.com
Another weekend, another title for Andy Murray in Asia. He beat David Ferrer 7-5, 6-4 in the Shanghai Masters final. This win guarantees that he’ll overtake Roger Federer for the No. 3 ranking – at least for now. It’s with not just a little bit of nostalgia and worry that this Federer fan notes that Roger hasn’t been ranked outside the top 3 since he won his first Wimbledon title in July of 2003.
Murray gets the significance. Here he is after the win in Shanghai (via the ATP):
“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,” said Murray. “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.”
Nice for some! Andy Murray’s been on an absolute tear during the latter part of the season, having lost only one match – to Rafael Nadal in the US Open semis – since August, and winning 25 out of 26 matches and four titles: the Cincinnati Masters (def. Djokovic), the Thailand Open (def. Young), Tokyo (def. Nadal) and now the Shanghai Masters. S’wonderful! S’marvelous! These are fantastic results, amazing accomplishments and Andy’s not hurting in the prize money category, either (about $4.5 million for the year at last count). BUT he still needs to prove it on the big stage. I mean the really big stage – not the O2 arena. We all know this. He knows this. In a way, it makes his accomplishments this month that much more impressive – he wants to win everything and anything he can, though he really only has one last thing to prove. (Until he does win his Major, which I think he will do, and then it becomes the “one Slam wonder” thing. . .but I digress.)
Whether you care about Murray’s Major prospects or not, we can thank him for making next month’s World Tour Finals interesting. We have in Murray a red hot player who can challenge the No. 1 for the title in London, a welcome bit of suspense and subplot, since Rafa’s surprise loss to Florian Mayer this week guarantees Nole the No. 1 spot regardless of what happens in the next month.
AP Photo/Kyodo News via Daylife.com
Speaking of year ending championships, Marion Bartoli is still on the hunt for a spot at the WTA Championships. This weekend’s title win in Osaka keeps her in the running, neck-to-neck with Agnieszka Radwanska, though according to the WTA, Agie will need to lose her opener in Moscow, and Bartoli will need to win the Russian title next weekend, in order for the Frenchwoman to bump the Polish star from Istanbul. The way Bartoli is playing, having scored straight sets victories over both Angelique Kerber in the semis and Samantha Stosur in the finals on Sunday – the matches being played the same day due to rain – it appears that Maid Marion is a woman on a mission.
Petra Kvitova earned her spot in Istanbul the minute she won the Wimbledon title, though she hasn’t done much since. She turned things around this weekend in Austria taking the Generali Ladies Linz title with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Dominika Cibulkova.