Andy Murray continued his relentless march towards the world number one ranking with a 6-3 7-6 victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final of the Erste Bank Open 500 in Vienna, Austria.
The Vienna crown gives Murray a career-best seventh title of the season- his third in three tournaments, following previous successes in Beijing and Shanghai.
He is on a 15-match winning streak.
If he wins this week’s Paris Masters, and Novak Djokovic falls before the final, the Scot will ascend to the top of the world rankings for the first time in his career.
Murray started slowly in Vienna, needing three sets to get past Martin Klizan and Gilles Simon in the opening rounds, but he got better as the week went by, notably neutralizing John Isner 6-1 6-3 in the quarter-finals.
The world number two looked to be heading towards a comfortable victory against Tsonga on Sunday when he led by a set and a break, but Tsonga’s dedication to offense paid dividends in the eighth game of the second set.
The Frenchman attacked his way to his first break point of the match in that game, getting back on level terms in the set when an increasingly agitated Murray carelessly sent a forehand beyond the baseline.
The Scot regrouped in time to twice serve to stay in the set, before holding his nerve in the tie break to close out the win and claim a 42nd career title.