The newly crowned world number one Andy Murray won an exciting two hour eighteen minute encounter against John Isner 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-4 in Bercy, Paris. He thus claimed his tour leading eighth crown of the year and 43rd in total. It was also his 14th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title.
The Dunblane native saved two break points in the first set which he claimed 6-3. In the second set he saved four break points in the eighth game before it went to a tie-breaker. The tall American, who is now the highest ranked American for the fifth year in a row , clinched it 7-4 to force a decider.
In the decider Isner saved break points in both the first and third game of the set at 30-40. Murray never faced a break point in the decider, however he came within two points of dropping serve at duece in the ninth game. Murray then jumped to a 0-30 lead in the tenth game. He would convert his first match point with a dipping backhand that his net-charging opponent was unable to handle, extending his overall winning streak to 19 straight matches. Despite serving 18 aces Isner dropped to 0-8 in the pairs head to head meetings.
Isner failed to convert on any of the six break point opportunities while Murray was 2 for 4 in break point conversion. Murray who got a walkover from Milos Raonic of Canada in the semi final has now won seven out of the nine Super Series events at least once in his career. Monte Carlo and Indian Wells being the only events that he has still not won.
Meanwhile, the groups have been announced for the season ending finale at the O2 arena in London. Andy Murray is in the John McEnroe group alongside the U. S. Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland, the in form Croat Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori of Japan. In the Ivan Lendl group Novak Djokovic has been joined by Milos Raonic of Canada and debutants Gael Monfils of France and Dominic Thiem of Austria.
Murray goes in to London with a 73-9 record for the year, he is also the 26th player to rise to No. 1 in the Emirates ATP rankings – and the oldest first-time No. 1 since 30-year-old John Newcombe in June 1974. Now every member of the ‘Big Four’ has attained the top spot. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal who will not be in action in London have spent 302 and 141 weeks respectively as Number one, while Djokovic has held it for 223 weeks.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy. You can reach him at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org]