Andy Murray, celebrated his impending rise to world number one ranking with a 6-3 6-7(4) 6-4 victory against American John Isner to claim his maiden Paris Masters title and his eighth tournament win of the season on Sunday.
The Briton, who would take over from Novak Djokovic at top of Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) rankings on today, 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 lost finals.
Murray would be the top seed at the season-ending ATP World Tour finals at O2 Arena in London from November 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.
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, while 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 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.
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