This really is quite a year for Andy Murray, and the reigning Wimbledon and Olympic champion continued his fine form by claiming the Shanghai Masters at the weekend. In doing so, the Scot took another step towards ousting Novak Djokovic as world number one.
Murray beat Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets to claim his 13th ATP 1000 title, and of equal importance, moved to within 1000 points of Djokovic in the rankings.
The two-Wimbledon champion is now just 6/4 – in from 3/1 – to end the year as number one, something no Brit has ever achieved since computerised rankings came into the sport.
Indeed, 29-year-old Murray would also become the oldest player to ascend to the top spot since John Newcombe in 1974.
Djokovic is 1/2 to end 2016 as number one, but continued reports of injuries, coupled with some disappointing performances in Shanghai, offer plenty of hope to his rival.
Murray still has 915 points to make up, but with Djokovic absent from the upcoming Erste Bank Open in Vienna, another great chance awaits.
Victory in Austria would set things up marvellously ahead of the Paris Masters and World Tour Finals in London – where the number one spot could be won or lost.
With just the ATP 1000 Paris Masters and the season-ending World Tour Finals to come, Murray can’t afford to slip up if he wants to knock his great rival off the top.
But handily, Murray is arguably in the form of his life, posting a stunning 51-4 record since the Matua Open in Madrid back in May.
Success in Shanghai means Murray has now won six tour-level titles in a season for the first time since 2009, in addition to another Olympic Gold.
He’s tennis’ in-form man right now, and Murray is doing all the right things en route to becoming Britain’s first world number one.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing