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Andy Murray wins sixth title of year, takes aim at No. 1 ranking

Andy Murray wins sixth title of year, takes aim at No. 1 ranking
Andy Murray returns a shot against Roberto Bautista Agut during the championship match of the Shanghai Masters on Sunday. (Lintao Zhang / Getty Images)

Andy Murray's season is turning out even better than he expected: He's won a second Wimbledon title and a second Olympic gold medal, and reached the finals at the Australian Open and French Open

And on Sunday, he clinched his sixth title of the year with a 7-6 (1), 6-1 victory over Roberto Bautista Agut at the Shanghai Masters, matching his season-high total from 2009.

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Now the Scot has his eyes set on yet another prize: the No. 1 ranking. It may be difficult to catch Novak Djokovic this year, but Murray is closing in on his rival. 

"I will try to finish this year as strong as I can. And next year if the opportunity is there to reach No. 1, then I want to try and take it," Murray said. "It's going to be a tough thing to achieve that. I'm aware of that.

"But I believe I can get there. These last few months have proved that to me."

With Roger Federer injured, Rafael Nadal still trying to regain his confidence and Djokovic dealing with the effects of an exhausting season, Murray has established himself as the dominant force in the game as the year winds down. 

He credits the return of Ivan Lendl to his coaching team, coupled with his victory at Wimbledon after several tough losses in slam finals, for giving him the belief he could compete for major championships again.

"It helped motivate me," he said. "Really since the French Open, (I've) played the best three months of tennis of my career."

Wozniacki tops Mladenovic for Hong King title

Former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki defeated Kristina Mladenovic, 6-1, 6-7 (4), 6-2, to win the Hong Kong Open, her second title in Asia in the last month.

Wozniacki is having a resurgent second half of the season, winning titles in Hong Kong and Tokyo and reaching the U.S. Open semifinals. She had a 13-14 record for the season before the U.S. Open; she's 15-3 since then. 

Mladenovic's serve let her down as the match wore on. She made less than half of her first serves in the final set and was broken three times. The Frenchwoman fell to 0-3 in career finals.

Cibulkova beats Golubic in Austria

Dominika Cibulkova won her third title of the season and seventh overall by beating Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland, 6-3, 7-5, in the Generali Ladies final in Linz, Austria.

The triumph earned the 10th-ranked Slovak a berth at the season-ending WTA Finals for the first time. Cibulkova also won at Katowice in April and Eastbourne in June, and appeared in three more finals this year. 

The second-seeded Cibulkova screamed for joy and fell on her back after converting her first match point with a service winner.

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"It feels so great," she said. "It's an incredible year, such a great season."

Shuai wins first title of career

Chinese veteran Peng Shuai captured the first title of her career at the Tianjin Open on Sunday, beating Alison Riske in the final, 7-6 (3), 6-2.

Peng, a former U.S. Open semifinalist, was winless in six previous finals on the WTA Tour. She saved 10 of 12 break points she faced against Riske.

Peng finished off her rain-delayed semifinal over Danka Kovinic earlier Sunday, winning three straight games to prevail 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 after resuming at 3-all in the third.

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