Andy Murray has eased past Roberto Bautista Agut to win his sixth title of 2016 at the Shanghai Masters.
A comfortable 7-6 (7-1) 6-1 win over his Spanish opponent now puts world no. 2 Murray in touching distance of Novak Djokovic in the world rankings, ahead of the final competition of the year at the ATP Finals in London.
Djokovic had suffered a shock defeat to Agut in the semi-finals of the competition on Saturday (15 October). Murray is now 915 points off the world no. 1.
In a tight opening set, Murray broke his opponent to take a 5-4 lead and looks poised to serve out for the set.
Agut rallied however and denied the Briton three set points to force the tie-break
Murray swiftly took control of the contest in the tie-break however, with Agut sending wayward backhands and forehands long before the Wimbledon champion wrapped things up with a vicious return.
Having come through a stern examination in the opener, Murray glided to victory in the second set, dropping just one game on his way to victory.
Murray's form over the last three months means his is the favourite to leapfrog Djokovic into top spot should the Serbian slip. But the 29-year-old admits hoping for the world's no. 1 player to simply stop winning is a big ask.
"My goal wasn't to finish no. 1 at the end of this year but in the early parts of next year there is an opportunity," Murray said. "900 points doesn't seem like loads. But Novak will win matches. He is the best player in the world. I don't think he has lot an indoor match in a long time."
Djokovic meanwhile is already looking to the Paris Masters to rediscover his winning touch. "It's not over yet," said Djokovic. "There are a couple of big tournaments still along the way in Paris and London. I'll try to get ready for indoor season where I always, in the last couple of years, played pretty well. I'll try to get better."