Andy Murray is unofficially 1-0 as No. 1 after defeating John Isner 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-4 on Sunday for a first-ever title at the Paris Masters.
Murray will officially become No. 1 when the new ATP rankings are released on Monday, but he mathematically secured the top spot when world No. 1 Novak Djokovic lost in the quarterfinals, and he received a walkover in the semifinals against the injured Milos Raonic.
In Paris it was Murray’s eighth title of the year and 43rd for his career.
“I’m happy that I managed to get there,” said Murray. “I was pleased. I felt really nervous before the match and I didn’t feel flat or anything like that, which that was the most pleasing thing about today for me. It’s great to win, but sometimes after you achieve something big or something that you maybe didn’t expect, it can be quite easy to have a letdown and feel a little bit flat. I felt really nervous before the match today and I was happy about that.”
The Brit’s only hiccup on Sunday was a double fault in the second-set tiebreak that helped the American secure the second set. In the third Murray broke when Isner was serving at 4-5, extending his match streak in late 2016 to 19 consecutive wins.
Murray improved to 8-0 career against Isner.
The American has had a difficult season without a title, and framing American fortunes, he will finish as the top-ranked American this year after his Paris run. No American has won a European indoor tournament since Andre Agassi 17 years ago.
“I knew I had to bring it today if I wanted any chance, because not often do you get to a stage in a tournament like this against a guy like that,” said Isner, who brings improved hopes into 2017. “I certainly did a lot of very good things out there. I thought I have given Andy a few tough tussles throughout our careers. I have never won, but that’s why he’s right now the greatest player in the world.”
While Isner heads back to the U.S. after the closure of the regular ATP season, Murray heads home to prepare for the ATP year-ending championship featuring the Top 8 players in London where he will attempt to secure the year-end No. 1 ranking.
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