Murray edges closer to top spot with Vienna title
Andy Murray moved a step closer to dethroning Novak Djokovic as world number one on Sunday, beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3 7-6 (8-6) to regain the Erste Bank Open title.
A second triumph in three years at the ATP 500 tournament in Vienna keeps alive Murray's hopes of ending the year at the top of the rankings - a position he has never previously held.
Djokovic has owned the number-one spot since July 2014, but will be overhauled if he fails to reach the final of the Paris Masters and Murray wins the tournament.
The latter scenario certainly appears realistic after Murray again got the better of Tsonga to claim his seventh title of the year - a career-best haul.
Tsonga had won only two of his previous 15 meetings with Murray and appeared unlikely to improve that dismal record after falling 3-0 down in the first set.
After spurning a solitary set point on the Tsonga serve, Murray served out the opener with ease before immediately securing another break courtesy of a stunning backhand down the line.
However, three further break points went begging for the top seed in game five as Tsonga dug in to partially make amends for his rising error count.
And a surprising twist in the tale followed when Murray, whose first-serve percentage had dipped alarmingly, sent a forehand long to give up his advantage.
A tie-break was therefore required to decide the second set, but Murray ultimately had too much for an opponent undermined by a host of unforced errors, the Scot's victory sealed with an ace.