Britain’s Andy Murray has become world number three, going ahead of Roger Federer, for the first time ever, in the ATP rankings. In the process, Federer, who dropped to fourth place, slumped to his lowest ranking since June 2003.
Murray achieved the feat when he won the Shanghai Masters title on Sunday, beating David Ferrer 7-5, 6-4, at Shanghai’s Qi Zhong Stadium. This was the British number one’s third successive title, following title wins at Thailand and Japan, a run of 15 matches won in succession. In fact, the Brit has lost just one of his last 26 matches, and that loss came in the semi-finals of the US Open, at the hands of Rafael Nadal.
This was Murray’s eighth ATP Masters title, level with Thomas Muster. Only Nadal, Federer, Sampras, Agassi and Djokovic have won more than eight.
After his feat, Murray said, “If you finish in front of Federer in a year, then there’s not many people in the last seven years that have been able to say that. It’s been one of the best runs of my life. I’ve played very, very well the last few weeks. And I was very nervous today because I wanted to defend my title. I was hitting the ball well but there was still a little bit of tension because you want to try and keep the run going.”
“Here in Shanghai I’ve had the best moments of my career. I reached the final in 2007 (Masters Cup) and again this year. I hope to win it next year. I know it will be difficult but Shanghai is my second home,” he is reported to have added.
Murray and Ferrer exchanged service breaks at the start of the first set of the Shanghai Masters final and games went with serve, thereafter, until Murray broke again in the eleventh when Ferrer blew the game with a double-fault, after being 30-0 up at a point. The pattern of the second set was not dissimilar as Murray closed out a straight sets win to take the title and the world number three ranking.
After the match, Ferrer complimented Murray by saying, “Today it was impossible to beat Andy.”
Murray was ranked even higher in August 2009, albeit for a brief spell of three weeks, when he was rated world number two in the ATP rankings, below Federer who was then the top-ranked player.
Murray has only the ATP Masters in Paris and the ATP World Tour Finals in London left to play, in 2011, and he would want to put sufficient distance between him and Federer to be able to finish number three at year-end.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.