Top target: Andy Murray takes aim at Novak Djokovic’s number one ranking at China Open in Beijing

If the Briton, who skipped Beijing last year, can scoop his fifth title of the season, he will close the 4,695 point gap by 1,000 points

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 October, 2016, 3:43pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 October, 2016, 3:43pm

Andy Murray is hoping to cap his strong season with a late season run at Novak Djokovic’s long-held number one ranking as he arrived in Beijing on Sunday.

Six-time China Open winner Djokovic is not in the Chinese capital to defend his almost flawless tournament record, after an elbow injury picked up earlier in the season forced him to withdraw.

But there are plenty of late season points on the table, all of which the Serbian is defending after a stellar 2015, opening the door for the Scot to summit the rankings by the year end.

If Murray, who skipped Beijing last year, can scoop his fifth title of the season at the China Open, he would close the 4,695 point gap between him and the number one by 1,000 points.

Watch: 2015 final - Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal

“I think obviously trying to reach number one is a goal,” Murray said.

“It’s something I would like to do for the first time, which is maybe more of a motivation for me than some of the guys that have been there before.”

Novak Djokovic pulls out of China Open over elbow injury

Murray bagged his second Wimbledon crown and Olympic Games gold medal this season.

He also reached the final of the Australian and French Opens, but missed out on a second consecutive Davis Cup win after losing to Argentina.

“It’s been my best season to date, and I want to try to finish it as best as I can,” Murray said.

The Serbian has maintained an iron-fisted grip on the world number one since July 2014, but made surprise early exits at Wimbledon and the Olympics and withdrew with injury from the Cincinnati Open in August.

Argentina boss savours moment of Davis Cup glory after sealing 3-2 win over holders Great Britain

There were concerns that injury could cloud his US Open campaign, but the 12-time grand slam champion made his seventh final at Flushing Meadows where he lost to Stan Wawrinka.

Murray will play 94th ranked Italian Andreas Seppi in the first round of the China Open.