Andy MURRAY heads Roger Federer in the world rankings for the first time after a triumph at the Shanghai Masters gave him his third title this month.
The autumn Asian swing on the ATP tour has been one of remarkable success for the Scot, with three titles in 15 days.
Murray has exhausted himself over the past three weeks, firstly in thrashing American Donald Young to triumph in Bangkok, then when demolishing Rafael Nadal 6-0 in a deciding set of the Japan Open final, and yesterday in bringing down David Ferrer at the climax of the Shanghai Masters.
He won 7-5, 6-4 against Ferrer, rising to No.3 in the world rankings and nudging in front of Federer who drops out of the top three after eight years.
The 30-year-old from Switzerland has been ever-present since 2003, but Murray has five titles this year to Federer’s one.
Murray remains without a grand slam to his name, unlike Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal ahead of him and Federer, all multiple winners.
Murray can do nothing about that in 2011, but the 24-year-old can finish the year in style in front of a British crowd at the end-of-term ATP World Tour Finals in late November.
“The goal is to play well at the O2 and try to go further than I have before,” said Murray. When the Scot climbed to number two in the world in August 2009, Federer was the man at number one.
He said: “I’m really happy with the way I’m playing.”