Murray Faces Isner In Paris Final
FINAL PREVIEW: The BNP Paribas Masters championship on Sunday features the hottest player on the ATP World Tour and the new No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, Andy Murray, against unseeded John Isner, who is trying to capture the biggest ATP World Tour title of his career.
Murray has won the seven previous meetings (18-3 in sets), including just over a week ago in the quarter-finals of Vienna where the British superstar won 61 63 en route to the title. They also met on May 29 at Roland Garros with Murray winning the 4R encounter 76 64 63.
Murray is the 26th player in the history of the Emirates ATP Rankings (since Aug. 23, 1973) to hold the coveted No. 1 ranking. By reaching the final, the 29-year-old Briton surpassed Novak Djokovic and ended the Serb’s streak of 122 consecutive weeks at No. 1 (since July 7, 2014). Murray is five points ahead of Djokovic (see pg. 2) and he will pick up an additional 400 points if he wins his eighth title of the season. Murray enters on an 18-match winning streak and in his ATP World Tour-best 12th final in 2016 (7-4). Since May he has compiled a 59-5 match record, reaching 11 finals in 12 tournaments (winning seven titles). Murray is attempting to win a personal-best third ATP Masters 1000 title of the season and 14th in his career (13-7 record). This would be his seventh different ATP Masters 1000 title in his career. He is also trying to become the third British player to win the BNP Paribas Masters title, joining Tim Henman (2003) and Greg Rusedski (1998).
Isner will finish as the top American for the fifth straight year and in the Top 20 for a seventh consecutive season. The 31-year-old American will move to No. 19 by reaching the final and to No. 15 if he wins his first ATP Masters 1000 title. He is also trying to extend his ATP World Tour title streak to seven years in a row. Isner is 10-11 in ATP World Tour finals and eight of his titles have come in the U.S. (other two in Auckland). This is his second career European final (2010 Belgrade, l. to Querrey). Isner is 1-6 in finals against Top 10 opponents (d. No. 7 Berdych in 2012 Winston-Salem). His previous ATP Masters 1000 finals came at 2012 Indian Wells (l. to Federer) and 2013 Cincinnati (l. to Nadal). The last American to earn an ATP Masters 1000 singles title was Andy Roddick in Miami in 2010 (d. Berdych). Isner is the first American to reach the final in Bercy since Andre Agassi won the title in 1999 (d. Safin). Isner, who leads the tournament with 88 aces, will finish as the Infosys ATP Scores & Stats aces leader this season for the fourth time in his career, the first since 2013. He has 1,141 aces, ahead of Ivo Karlovic (1,131 aces).