Oct 03, 2016

    Murray can close gap to Djokovic


    ANDY Murray is hoping to cap his strong season with a late-season run at Novak Djokovic's long-held No. 1 ranking as he arrived in Beijing on Saturday.

    Six-time China Open winner Djokovic is not in the Chinese capital to defend his almost-flawless tournament record after an elbow injury, picked up earlier in the season, forced him to withdraw.

    But there are plenty of late-season points on the table, opening the door for the Scot to summit the rankings by the year-end.

    If Murray - who skipped Beijing last year - can scoop his fifth title of the season at the China Open, he would close the 4,695 point gap between him and the No. 1 by 1,000 points.

    "I think obviously trying to reach No. 1 is a goal," Murray said.

    "It's something I would like to do for the first time, which is maybe more of a motivation for me than some of the guys that have been there before."

    He bagged his second Wimbledon crown and Olympic gold medal this season.

    He also reached the final of the Australian and French Opens but missed out on a second consecutive Davis Cup win, losing to Argentina.

    "It's been my best season to date, and I want to try to finish it as best as I can," Murray said.

    Djokovic has maintained an iron-fisted grip on the world No. 1 title since July 2014 but made surprise early exits at Wimbledon and the Olympics.

    Murray will play 94th-ranked Italian Andreas Seppi in the first round of the China Open. AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE