Murray masters Shanghai to close on top ranking
The Wimbledon and Olympic champion won seven points in a row in the first-set tie-breaker and broke Bautista three times in the second set to lift his third Shanghai title.
Second-ranked Murray has now won 20 straight sets in a 10-match winning streak, marching to back-to-back titles in China including last week’s China Open victory in Beijing.
Murray also cuts the gap on Djokovic, who was shocked by Spain’s Bautista in the semis, to 915 points as he zeroes in on the Serb’s top ranking.
“The last few months I’ve played very well in all of the tournaments and obviously I’m happy to be back in the final again here,” the 2010 and 2011 winner told the crowd.
Murray’s first serve of the match was a thumping ace and he took a grip on the first set at 3-3 when Bautista netted a backhand to lose the first break point of the match.
But Murray, serving at 5-4, lost three set points and got in a tangle on a drop shot to hand Bautista his first break point, which he converted with a strong forehand.
The Briton slammed three consecutive aces for 6-6 and he dominated the tie-break, winning seven points in a row and taking the set with a sizzling backhand return.
A string of Bautista errors put Murray a break up at the start of set two, but to his obvious frustration he gave it straight back with a miscued forehand.
But Bautista twice double faulted to go a break down before handing over yet another break, making victory a formality for Murray who buried his first championship point.
With his 41st tournament victory and sixth this year, Murray joins Stefan Edberg in joint 15th place on the list of Open-era title winners.