Murray reigns in Spain to boost O2 chances

 
Ross McLean
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Former Wimbeldon champion Andy Murray won his third title in five weeks yesterday
BRITAIN’S Andy Murray edged past Tommy Robredo in dramatic fashion to win the Valencia Open yesterday and take a mammoth step towards securing a place at next month’s ATP World Tour Finals in London.

It was a case of history repeating itself as Murray saved five match points to claim the 31st title of his career, an exact repeat of the scenario which played out during last month’s Shenzhen Open final.

On this occasion the 27-year-old beat Spain’s Robredo 3-6, 7-6 [9-7], 7-6 [10-8] in three hours and 19 minutes – the longest ATP final of 2014 – to claim his third title in five weeks amid bouts of cramp.

Victory moves former Wimbledon champion Murray to fifth in the Race to London rankings, with a ninth-place finish enough to secure qualification, ahead of the Paris Masters which gets underway today.

World No2 Roger Federer, meanwhile, breezed past Belgium’s David Goffin 6-2, 6-2 to win the Swiss Indoors title in his home city of Basel for a sixth time.

His latest success sees the 17-time grand slam champion enhance his chances of overtaking Serbia’s Novak Djokovic and finishing at the summit of the 2014 world rankings.

The 33-year-old trails world No1 Djokovic by 500 points in the ATP standings, with a total of 1000 points on offer in Paris during the next week and a further 1500 up for grabs at the season-ending ATP Finals at the O2 Arena.

Top seed Serena Williams also had reason to cheer after brushing aside Romania’s Simona Halep 6-3, 6-0 to win the WTA Tour Finals for the third consecutive year, as the competition debuted in Singapore.

The 33-year-old also gained revenge after Halep consigned the reigning US Open champion to her heaviest defeat in 16 years during the group stages of the tournament.

Williams, who has 18 grand slam singles titles to her name, recovered her poise and will finish the year as world No1 for the fourth time in an illustrious career.