The autumn Asian swing on the ATP tour has been one of remarkable success for the Scot, but three titles in 15 days has not quite satisfied Murray, and now the objective is to bring his year to a glorious end in London.
Murray has exhausted himself over the past three weeks, firstly in thrashing American Donald Young to triumph in Bangkok, then when demolishing Rafael Nadal 6-0 in a deciding set of the Japan Open final, and on Sunday in bringing down David Ferrer at the climax of the Shanghai Masters.
He won 7-5 6-4 against Ferrer and will rise to number three in the new world rankings on Monday, nudging in front of Federer who drops out of the top three after eight years.
The 30-year-old from Switzerland has been ever-present since pouching the first of his 16 grand slam titles at Wimbledon in 2003, but Murray has five titles this year to Federer's one. The rankings tell an unmistakable truth.
Of course Murray remains without a grand slam to his name, unlike Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal ahead of him and Federer, all multiple winners.
Murray can do nothing about that in 2011, but the 24-year-old Scot can finish the year in style in front of a British crowd at the end-of-term ATP World Tour Finals in late November.
"The goal is to play well at the O2 and try to go further than I have before," Murray said. "I'll do everything I can to get ready for that."
For now Murray needs a break, and he plans to use the week ahead to rest and recharge, having been left exhausted by not only a hectic schedule of matches in the past three weeks, but inevitably also the travelling involved.
"It's been one of the best runs of my life," Murray said at the trophy presentation ceremony, his second in a row in Shanghai after beating Federer 12 months ago.
"I've played very, very well in the last few weeks. I was very nervous today [Sunday] because I wanted to win and defend my title but I'm very happy I came through."
The two sets on Sunday followed a similar pattern, with the pair trading immediate breaks of serve before Murray struck decisively.
In the first set, Ferrer faltered at 5-5, throwing in a double fault when serving at 40-30 behind, and Murray closed out the set efficiently.
Murray broke right at the start of the second set, but again he was broken back, sending a crosscourt forehand out via a heavy bump from the top of the net.
Ferrer needed to stay with him and build some pressure against Murray's serve, but again it was the Spaniard who was the most vulnerable.
The man ranked fifth in the world - and there is a huge chasm between fourth and fifth - dropped serve again in the third game, and could not find a way back.
When Murray climbed to number two in the world in August 2009, Federer was the man at number one.
To overtake the most successful player in the history of men's tennis is a proud moment for Murray, but it was not the only goal he set himself for 2011.
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."