In Brief

Andy Murray: Another title for the new world number one

Scot beats John Isner to win Paris Masters after overtaking Novak Djokovic at top of world rankings

Andy Murray, the newly-crowned world number one, added the Paris Masters to his growing collection of titles on Sunday as plaudits for the British tennis star flooded in.

Having ascended to top spot in the rankings following the departure of Novak Djokovic in the quarter finals, the 29-year-old Scot saw off John Isner in three sets and a little over two and a quarter hours to confirm his status

"Murray's latest title reminded us that he is not number one on rankings points alone. He is the alpha male of the world tour, the opponent no one wants to face," says Simon Briggs in the Daily Telegraph.

His coronation was slightly anti-climactic after Milos Raonic pulled out of their semi-final on Friday, but Murray celebrated on Sunday with his 19th straight win to claim his first Paris Masters crown.

His victory was typical as he refused to buckle under Isner's huge serve. "It is the refusal to let his level drop for any length of time that has elevated him to where he is – statistically and deservedly the best player in the world right now and, who knows, maybe for a little while to come yet," says Kevin Mitchell in The Guardian.

He now has a lead of 405 points over Djokovic and if he can match the Serb at the ATP World Tour finals in London, he should finish the year at the top of the tree.

"Almost everyone in tennis is delighted to see Murray rewarded for the effort he has put in over the years. It would have been easy to have become demoralised by the quality of the players ahead of him, but he never stopped trying to improve," says Annabel Croft, in the Telegraph.

Now he has seen off the likes of Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal and deserves recognition for the achievement.

"He keeps finding fresh ways to be great," says Martin Samuel in the Daily Mail. "The first Grand Slam win by a British tennis player since 1936. The first British Wimbledon men's winner in 77 years. The first Briton to win two Wimbledon titles since Fred Perry. The first British Olympic gold medallist since 1908. The only double Olympic gold medallist, from any country, in singles events. Davis Cup winner. And now this: world number one."

How Andy Murray could overtake Djokovic as world number one

31 October

Andy Murray heads into the final weeks of the tennis season knowing that victory at the Paris Masters could see him crowned world number one ahead of the ATP World Tour Finals in London in two weeks' time.

His victory in the Vienna masters final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Sunday extended Murray's unbeaten run to 15 games and leaves him 1,915 points behind Djokovic, who has been at number one since June 2014.

"Murray, who has spent 76 weeks at number two since first reaching the mark in 2009, can finally go to number one in one of two ways," explains the ATP World Tour website. "First, if he wins the Paris title and Djokovic does not reach the final. Or, Murray reaches the final and Djokovic doesn't reach the semi-finals.

"But Djokovic won't be focused on playing defence in Paris," it adds. "The Serb, can clinch year-end number one for the fifth time in six years if he wins the Paris title and Murray does not reach the semi-finals."

However, the momentum will be with Murray in Paris after his third tournament victory in a row in Vienna. 

"It has been a remarkable six months for Murray, who has won seven titles, the most in a season in his career," reports The Guardian. "He has lost only three matches since the French Open in June. His 15th victory in a row did not look in any doubt for a set and a half. Tsonga, who had won only two of 15 matches against Murray, was broken in his opening service game and made far too many errors."

Since Djokovic won the French Open at the start of the summer "there's been a seismic shift at the top, and Djokovic's dominance in the first half of 2016 has been mirrored by Murray's ascendancy in the second", says Charlie Eccleshare in the Daily Telegraph

"In the period from January up to and including the French Open Djokovic reigned supreme, winning two grand slams and boasting a win-loss record of 44-3. Since then Murray has won Wimbledon and the Olympics, and posted figures of 42-3."

However, Djokovic still represents a formidable foe for Murray, who has prospered in the absence of the Serb, who has played only four tournaments in the past four months.

But he has declared himself refreshed after struggling with injury and "personal" issues after his win in the French Open.

"I felt a little bit exhausted... and maybe less motivated," he said. "So I had to kind of rediscover that feeling of being on the court and keep pushing myself. I guess it took a little bit of time, more time, and I'm in a better state of mind at the moment than I was some months ago." 

Murray, for his part, has played down talk of topping the rankings and insisted that the world number one spot is not his goal for the season.


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