VIENNA, October 30, 2016
World number two Andy Murray is the champion of the Erste Bank Open 2016, winning Sunday’s final 6-3, 7-6 against sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
In front of packed stands, Murray set the tone early, gaining a break in the second game to clinch the opening set after 45 minutes. The Brit also had the better start into the second frame, winning the very first game on Tsonga’s serve. However, the Frenchman was not done yet getting back on serve and the atmosphere inside the Stadthalle heated up in the tie-break. The 2011 Vienna champion played his best tennis, which was not enough, as Murray served out with his fifth ace after one hour and 49 minutes.
“Jo fought really hard until the end. It was a high-level tie-break,” Murray told after clinching a career-best seventh title of the season. “I struggled a bit at the beginning of the tournament, didn’t feel comfortable on the court but played a lot of tennis and was able to make a few chances with my racket to control the ball better during the rest of the matches. I think I played my best tennis in the final.”
Murray, who captured the title in Vienna two years ago, takes away €428,800 in prize money as well as 500 ATP Ranking points.
With this triumph, Murray cuts the difference to 1,915 points to world number one Novak Djokovic in the Emirates ATP Rankings. The Serb has 2,300 points to defend from last year’s titles at the ATP Masters 1000 in Paris and the ATP World Tour Finals in London. Murray has 800 points dropping off on November 7. The Brit has an additional 275 points from the 2015 Davis Cup coming off on November 28. He can become the new world number one by taking the title in Paris and Djokovic falling before the final.
Murray, however, does not have any thoughts about this scenario. “Novak can control his results. I can only control my own. It’s never easy to win a Masters event, in particular Paris, where I haven’t played that well in the past. Last year was the best I have done there. Expecting to win the tournament would be silly. I will turn up there, getting used to the conditions, have some practice and hopefully I play like I did today.”
Tsonga appeared in his first final of the season, his first since last September when he took his 12th ATP career title in Metz.
“I am happy with the week. I played good tennis and fought until the end. That’s the most important thing for me. It was nice to play five matches in a row, which didn’t happen to me too many times this season. Of course I am a bit disappointed but it was a positive week,” Tsonga told.
Kubot And Melo Clinch Doubles Title
Earlier the day, Lukasz Kubot from Poland and Brazilian Marcelo Melo captured the doubles title, winning 3-6, 6-3, 13-11 over Austrian Oliver Marach and Fabrice Martin of France. The defending champions, who made a successful debut last year in Vienna, rallied back from a 1-4 deficit in the final set and saved one match point to clinch their second team title. The encounter lasted one hour and 42 minutes.
Kubot and Melo have already secured a spot in the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London.
Tournament director Herwig Straka was happy with the week. About 57,000 spectators attended the ATP 500 event this week. At the top of his list in terms of potential players coming to Vienna in the future remains Novak Djokovic. Straka is in contact with the world number one as well as his management and thinks that it is realistic to welcome the Serbian here next year.