Defending champion Andy Murray defeated David Ferrer 7-5 6-4 to win the Shanghai Masters, ensuring he will move above Roger Federer to No.3 in the ATP world rankings.
It is a third straight title for the 24-year-old Scot, who had claimed consecutive tournament wins in Bangkok and Tokyo before heading to China.
Currently ranked fourth, he has also won 25 of his 26 matches since mid-August, the only loss coming to Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of the US Open.
It will be the first time Federer has fallen out of the top three since June 2003, just before he won his first Wimbledon title.
Coming into the match, Murray had won all four of his meetings with Ferrer on hard courts, including the semi-finals in Tokyo last week.
The first game of the match at the Qi Zhong stadium lasted nearly 10 minutes with a succession of lengthy baseline rallies before Murray broke the Ferrer serve - only for the world No.5 to break straight back in the second game.
The rest of the first set went with serve until the Spaniard double-faulted in the 11th game to give second seed Murray another break and a 6-5 lead. Murray went on to seal the set with an ace.
The second set started exactly as the first had, Murray taking the early break only for Ferrer to pull level at 1-1, with the Scot smashing a ball into the ground in frustration.
But Ferrer missed a simple smash to hand Murray two break points in the following game and he made no mistake, hoisting up a winning lob from behind the baseline to win the game before serving out to seal the match and his eighth Masters title in an hour and 45 minutes.
Asked about climbing to three in the world, Murray told Sky Sports: "It's not something I aimed for at the start of the year. You want to try to finish at number one if you can.
"After the US Open that wasn't possible. I needed to reassess my goals. I wanted to finish the year at three if possible. I haven't done that before.
"That still isn't complete. I'm still going to have to win some more matches to do that.
"But the last three weeks have been very good. I've had a good mindset and fought really hard in all the matches. Here I got a bit tired but I wanted to keep the run going.
"I'm really happy with the way I'm playing and hope I can keep it up for the rest of the year."