Andy Murray became the new men's world No. 1 without playing on Saturday, as Milos Raonis withdrew from the 2016 BNP Paribas Masters with an injury. The Scot will face John Isner in the final following his shock two-set win over Marin Cilic.
Murray knew he had a chance to pass Novak Djokovic in the ATP rankings in Paris, and with the latter losing in the quarter-finals, he only needed one more win.
British Tennis confirmed the news:
Here's a look at Saturday's results:
|BNP Paribas Results|
|John Isner||6-4, 6-3||(9) Marin Cilic|
|(2) Andy Murray||Walkover||(4) Milos Raonic|
Fans who bought a ticket for Saturday's BNP Paribas Masters didn't get to enjoy all that much tennis―the four men's semi-finalists combined for just 70 minutes on the court.
Isner and Cilic traded blows with their serve early, but as soon as the American grabbed the first break, the latter's resistance seemed to fade. Cilic has been in spectacular form all week long, but on Saturday, he finally came back down to Earth.
Isner grabbed the first and powered his way through the second set as well, using his serve to devastating effect.
Per the ATP World Tour's Josh Meiseles, he claimed the aces crown for the season along the way:
A break in the seventh game of the second set sealed Cilic's fate, as he never came close to threatening Isner on his serve.
The first match of the day hadn't even ended when rumours began to spread it would be the last of the men's singles, and, after a short delay, Raonic confirmed he would be unable to play on Saturday, per the event's official Twitter account:
It was a disappointing end to a day that started with so much promise, and while Murray will undoubtedly be happy with his No. 1 ranking, the Wimbledon champion likely would have preferred to earn it with one more win on the court.
The 29-year-old has enjoyed a spectacular 2016 season, winning Wimbledon for a second time and adding a second Olympic gold medal. He made the final at the Australian Open and French Open, where he was twice beaten by Djokovic, but the Serb struggled throughout the second half of the season, dropping key matches left and right.
Former women's No. 1 Tracy Austin congratulated the Scot and noted he had to wait a long time to rise from second place:
BBC Sport added the figures on Djokovic:
Murray is the firm favourite to win the BNP Paribas Masters before heading to London, where he'll defend his top spot at the ATP World Tour Finals. Djokovic has won four straight titles at the O2 Arena, while Murray has never made it to the final of the tournament.