Andy Murray closes in on world number one spot after overcoming Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Vienna

The Scot defeated Tsonga 6-3 7-6 (8/6) in the final of the Erste Bank Open

Andy Murray is in touching distance of the top spot
Andy Murray is in touching distance of the top spot

Andy Murray took a step closer to overtaking Novak Djokovic as world number one by winning his third successive title at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna.

The Scot defeated Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3 7-6 (8/6) in the final to add to the titles he won in Beijing and Shanghai earlier this month.

Murray can top the rankings for the first time in his career as early as November 7 if he wins next week's Masters event in Paris and Djokovic fails to reach the final.

It has been a remarkable last six months for Murray, who has now won seven titles, the most in a season in his career, and lost just three matches since the French Open in June.

His 15th win in a row did not look in any doubt for a set and a half.

Tsonga, who had won only two of 15 previous meetings with Murray, was broken in his opening service game and made far too many errors to trouble the world number two.

The Frenchman was staring at a heavy defeat at 1-3 and 0-40 down in the second set but played some fine points to hold serve.

That proved the catalyst for a revival from the Frenchman, who recovered the break and forced a tie-break.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was beaten in straight sets

But it was Murray who prevailed, the 29-year-old clinching victory with his fifth ace on his second match point.

Meanwhile, Dominika Cibulkova stunned world number one Angelique Kerber to win the biggest title of her career at the WTA Finals in Singapore.

Cibulkova, ranked eighth in the world, was rewarded for her aggression and survived a dramatic final game to win 6-3 6-4.

The Slovakian looked down and out after losing her opening two matches at the round-robin tournament.

Her only hope to reach the semi-finals was to beat Simona Halep in straight sets and hope Kerber did the same against Madison Keys.

Dominika Cibulkova with her trophy following victory in the BNP Paribas WTA Finals

That was exactly what transpired and Cibulkova repaid Kerber, who had reached the last four before facing Keys, for her generosity by denying her the perfect end to a remarkable season.

The Australian Open and US Open champion was the clear favourite but Cibulkova went on the attack from the off and even Kerber's powers of defence were not enough.

Cibulkova, the Australian Open finalist in 2014, did not wobble until the final game, when she double-faulted on her first match point and saw two others slip away.

But she saved two break points and then took her fourth match point when her shot dribbled over the net, the 27-year-old collapsing to the court in tears.

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