Britain’s Andy Murray beat Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov to win the China Open and close in on the world number 1 spot. Murray’s compatriot Johanna Konta wasn’t able to follow suit, losing to Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska.
Murray beat Dimitrov 6-4, 7-6 in a shade under two hours to wrap up his 40th career title and continue his pursuit of the top spot that has belonged to Serbian rival Novak Djokovic for 218 weeks.
The Briton is now 1,555 points behind Djokovic in the race to end the year as number one and has plenty of points to play for in Shanghai, Paris and the London Tour finals.
Djokovic missed the tournament, which he won in 2015, with an elbow injury but is expected to play in the next ranking tournament in Shanghai. The win in Beijing was Murrray’s fifth title of a stellar year that has included wins at Wimbledon and the Olympics and finals at the Australian and French Opens.
“It’s been the most consistent year of my career, getting to the latter stages of most of the events I have played,” Murray, who didn’t drop a set in the tournament, told Sky Sports after dispatching Dimitrov.
“Today’s match was a very high-level match. Grigor fought right to the end and made it extremely tough to finish it in two sets. I’m very happy with the way that I have played the last couple of matches. I will look forward to Shanghai now.”
Konta unable to seal British double
In the women’s draw, British number 1 Johanna Konta fell to third seed Agnieszka Radwanska who claimed her second Beijing title with a 6-4, 6-2 win.
Radwanska finished off her sixth straight winning final with an ace, a streak in title matches dating to September, 2015, when she beat Belinda Bencic in Tokyo.
“That was a really special week for me,” Radwanska said. “I really played great tennis, especially against top players.”
Despite the loss, Konta will rise to ninth on the WTA list on Monday and become the first British woman in the top 10 in 32 years.