His victory over Grigor Dimitrov, meant Murray took his 40th career title and, in the process, closed the gap in the world rankings to overhaul his rival Novak Djokovic to the number one spot, before the season finishes in London.
The Scotsman, who played the Bulgarian, in an exhibition match a week after Great Britain lost in the Davis Cup, took the first set 6-4 after taking Dimitrovs’ serve in his opening service.
Dimitrov, who beat Murray a few seasons ago, at Wimbledon, has since suffered in form and confidence and fallen down the rankings. A steady second half of 2016, has seen Dimitrov’s play improved greatly, made the final without playing a semi-final, when Wimbledon finalist from this season, Milos Raonic, pulled out.
The second set was an equally tough affair, which swung one way then the next. Murray, who hadn’t dropped a set all week in Beijing, served for the match at 5-4, but Dimitrov broke the world no.2 which sent it to a tie break, which Murray eventually took to take the match.
Speaking on TV afterwards, Murray said “It’s been the most consistent year of my career, getting to the latter stages of most of the events I have played.”
Murray, who beat his Davis Cup team-mate, Kyle Edmund in an earlier round added: “It was a great week for me. Today’s match was a very high-level match. Grigor fought right to the end and made it extremely tough to finish it in two sets.”
A fifth title this season, could be even more for Murray as he heads off for another big ATP 1000 tournament. “It’s been an excellent week and I’m very happy with the way that I have played the last couple of matches. I will look forward to Shanghai now.”
In Shanghai, Murray will resume his battle with Djokovic, who still has a massive lead over Murray in the rankings of nearly 4,000 points, but with still lots to play for in the season.