Murray celebrates number one with maiden Paris Masters title
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[November 07, 2016]
By Julien Pretot
PARIS (Reuters) - Andy Murray
celebrated his impending rise to the world number one ranking with a
6-3 6-7(4) 6-4 victory against John Isner to claim his maiden Paris
Masters title and his eighth tournament win of the season on Sunday.
The Briton, who will take over from Novak Djokovic at the top of the
ATP rankings on Monday, survived a barrage of aces against the
towering American to win his 14th career Masters tournament.
The three-times grand slam champion gave little breathing space to
Isner, who was hoping to clinch his first Masters title after two
Murray will be the top seed at the season-ending ATP World Tour
finals at the O2 Arena in London from Nov. 13-20.
"Thanks to my team and my family who were commenting back home. This
has been an incredible journey for me to get to the top of the
rankings, I could have not done it without all of you," said Murray.
Isner said of Murray: "He's the guy that everyone is looking up to
right now. And he's been at the top of the game for so long. Whether
it's two, three, four in the world, everyone knows how hard he works
and how dedicated he is.
"He's a big inspiration to myself and I'm sure he's a big
inspiration to other players, as well."
The double Olympic champion entered the contest with a 7-0 record
against Isner and his recent form, which had helped him to win six
of his eight previous tournaments since losing the French Open
final, suggested he would have the upper hand.
Murray, who now has 43 titles to his name, broke in the sixth game
on his first opportunity when Isner sent a backhand long.
[to top of second column]
Andy Murray poses for pictures after winning. REUTERS/Gonzalo
The American, who served a total of 18 aces, had two chances to
break back in the following game as he opened up a 40-15 lead.
Murray saved the first with a routine volley after managing to lob
his 2.08-metre opponent, and forced Isner to bury a backhand into
the net on the second.
He bagged the opening set with an unreturned serve having made only
four unforced errors.
Isner earned three break points thanks to a splendid drop shot
followed by a forehand winner. Murray saved them all, the last one
with a second-serve ace, and staved off another one to stay level.
In the tiebreak, Isner went 4-2 up when Murray double faulted, and
the American closed it out with a booming forehand winner to send
the contest into a decider.
Both players looked clumsy but it was Murray who played a tighter
game in the end, ending the contest on his first match point when
Isner netted a backhand volley.
(Editing by Clare Fallon)
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