Andy Murray warmed up in Paris on Saturday. Murray is the first player from Britain to reach the No. 1 ranking. Credit Miguel Medina/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
PARIS - After such a long wait, reaching the summit of men’s tennis was anticlimactic for Andy Murray, the famouspeople at sports
Without playing a single point, Murray ended a seven-year wait to secure the No. 1 spot after advancing to the Paris Masters final because of Milos Raonic’s withdrawal from the tournament.
Murray learned that Raonic had a leg injury just one hour before they were scheduled to meet in the semifinals on Saturday.
“The way that it happened today was quite strange,” Murray said. “I had always imagined, obviously, doing it on the court. Like last night, before I went to bed, I was imagining doing it, kind of thinking about it happening on the court after a match.”
Murray still gave the Paris fans something to cheer about: He took to the court for a practice session and hit a few shots with the ball boys and girls.
After Novak Djokovic lost in the quarterfinals, Murray needed only to make the final to take the top spot. He will face John Isner, who hit 18 aces to defeat Marin Cilic, 6-4, 6-3.
More than seven years after he reached No. 2 for the first time, Murray is guaranteed to hold at least a 5-point lead over Djokovic in the rankings on Monday. Djokovic has held the top spot for 122 consecutive weeks.
“Obviously it’s unfortunate the way that it happened today,” Murray said. “But it’s been many years of work to get here.”
Murray, 29, will be the first Briton to hold the top spot and the oldest first-time No. 1 since John Newcombe of Australia, who was 30 in 1974.
In an era dominated by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic, reaching the summit has been a long process for Murray, who has spent 76 weeks at No. 2.
“It’s been such a difficult thing to do during my career because of how good the guys around me have been, the guys ahead of me,” Murray said. “It’s been really, really hard to do it, been really difficult.”
Djokovic, 29, who has been No. 1 for 223 weeks over all, won the French Open for the first time in June to complete a career Grand Slam. But his form has since declined. He lost in the third round at Wimbledon and in the first round of the Olympics. At the United States Open, he won the first set of the final before losing to Stan Wawrinka.
Murray has been on a tear. He won the Erste Bank Open last week in Vienna — his third straight tournament victory — and has lost just three matches since the French Open.
Murray’s mother, Judy, was quick to congratulate her son on his ascension to the top of the rankings.
“You’ve come a long way baby,” Judy Murray wrote on Twitter, with an old photo of the two of them on a tennis court, followed by the number 1 and a heart.
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