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Andy Murray cracks it with first title success in China Open

By Robert Jones

Published 10/10/2016

Victor again: Andy Murray with the huge trophy after his straight sets win over Gregor Dimitrov
Victor again: Andy Murray with the huge trophy after his straight sets win over Gregor Dimitrov

Andy Murray was happy with his consistency after winning his maiden China Open title against Grigor Dimitrov in Beijing.

It was the 29-year-old's fifth tournament victory of the year, which includes Wimbledon and a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Rio, in what was his ninth final of the season.

"It's been the most consistent year of my career, getting to the latter stages of most of the events I have played," Murray said.

"It was a great week for me. 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 (6-4, 7-6 (7-2)).

"It's been an excellent week and I'm very happy with the way that I have played the last couple of matches. I will look forward to Shanghai now."

Despite defeat, Dimitrov was relieved to have performed for his fans in China.

"I never had good results out here in China and I'm finally happy I did this time. Hopefully I can continue like that for the rest of the year. I'm just glad that I fought so hard this tournament. It meant a lot to me. Andy is one of the toughest competitors out there - no doubt. On to Shanghai."

Elsewhere, Australia's Nick Kyrgios secured the biggest victory of his career with a 4-6 6-3 7-5 win over Belgium's David Goffin at the Rakuten Japan Open in Tokyo.

The 21-year-old served 25 aces on his way to victory and even fought back from 4-5 and 0-30 down in the final set to win the final three games and earn his third title of the year.

Meanwhile, Johanna Konta wants to keep progressing and challenge for more titles after climbing into the world's top 10.

Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska, the third seed, won the China Open with a 6-4 6-2 defeat of Konta.

The British number one fought off a first match point in the seventh game of the second set, but Radwanska sealed victory while serving in the next game to win in one hour 35 minutes.

Konta, the 11th seed, had reason to celebrate despite the defeat, as she became the fourth British woman to make the world's top 10 since the WTA rankings began in 1975.

"It's pretty cool," Konta said. "I'm very pleased with my progress over the past few years and hopefully many more places to climb.

"I'm just working hard towards playing matches like these, against players like Agnieszka. She was definitely a woman on a mission. Whenever I felt I could have got a little bit of a foothold in the match, she took it away from me.

"She hardly missed a ball. When she is so consistent and she moves the ball around as well as that, she's very, very difficult to beat.

"I definitely fought til the very end. I tried to exhaust all avenues possible. It just didn't go my way.

"But, again, a lot of good things to take from this week."

Konta was ranked 146th in the world as recently as June 2015, but after winning her semi-finalagainst Madison Keys 7-6 (7/1) 4-6 6-4, she become the first British female since Jo Durie in 1984 to make the top 10.

Virginia Wade and Sue Barker are the only other British females to have been ranked in the world's top 10.

By reaching the final, Konta also moved into the top eight in the race to reach the WTA Finals in Singapore later this month.

Belfast Telegraph

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