MONTREAL • Andy Murray will replace Roger Federer as world No. 2 after defeating Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-0 on Saturday to reach the final of the Montreal Masters.
The Scot will today move into second slot on the ATP Tour's ranking list behind No. 1 Novak Djokovic, his final opponent on the Canadian hardcourts.
Murray will line up against Djokovic this morning (Singapore time) after the top seed defeated France's Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-4 in the other semi-final.
"It's nice to get back especially after everything I went through last year with the (hip) surgery and dropping out of the top 10," Murray said of equalling his career-high ranking, having last held the No. 2 spot in 2013.
"A lot of questions were being asked about how my game was physically. It's good to get back close to the top. I'll keep working hard and try to get that one spot higher."
Beating Djokovic in the final would be a huge step towards that goal. The Serb, winner of three Canadian titles already, advanced in 80 minutes to win his 10th match against Chardy.
The only thing that troubled Djokovic on Saturday was the smell of marijuana smoke coming from the stands. "You can't believe how bad it was," he said. "Whoever it is, he's pretty high and I hope he doesn't come back tomorrow. Because it's a pretty bad smell. I didn't enjoy it much."
Murray, the 2009 and 2010 Canadian champion, outplayed Nishikori, who may have run out of puff after winning a late-night match 24 hours earlier. "It definitely wasn't a good day for my body," said the Japanese, who beat Rafael Nadal in the quarters. "I had a lot of matches before coming here, so it wasn't easy to play today."
Murray reached the final in a little more than an hour as he ran down every shot and left his Japanese opponent searching for answers.