Murray beats Tsonga in Vienna for third straight ATP title
VIENNA -- Andy Murray closed in on the No. 1 ranking by winning his third straight ATP title at the Erste Bank Open on Sunday.
The Scot can overtake Novak Djokovic atop the ATP rankings next week if he wins the Paris Masters and the Serb doesn’t reach the final.
“I get a step closer with every win but it’s still a long way from here,” Murray said.
Murray defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 7-6 (6) for his personal-best seventh title of the season, and 42nd overall. Djokovic has also won seven events this year.
Murray extended his unbeaten streak to 14 matches after also winning in Beijing and Shanghai.
The 15-ranked Tsonga, who was the 2011 champion, appeared in his first final of the season, which has been marred by adductor and left knee injuries.
Murray advanced to the final after defending champion David Ferrer pulled out with a left leg injury, while Tsonga saved a match point in his 2 1/2-hour semifinal against Ivo Karlovic on Saturday.
Murray, who also won in Vienna on his only previous visit in 2014, dominated Sunday’s final from the start. He raced into a 3-0 lead by taking 14 of the first 19 points of the match.
He avoided break points in his games, and missed a set point on the Frenchman’s serve at 5-2 but clinched the opening set the next game with his second ace.
Murray conceded just two points on his way to a 2-0 lead in the second set but started to struggle with his first serve as his percentage dropped to 18 halfway through the second set.
He hit a forehand long on the only break point for Tsonga to help the Frenchman level at 4-4.
Murray missed his first match point in the tiebreaker as he netted a forehand return, but closed out the win on his second chance with an ace.