ATP World Tour: Andy Murray Secures World No. 1

November 21, 2016

Andy Murray capped off the finest season of his career with two more significant feats.

In front of some of Hollywood's finest including Kevin Spacey, Clive Owen, Woody Harrelson and Jude Law, Murray charged to a 6-3, 6-4 win Sunday against Novak Djokovic to win his first ATP World Tour championship and secure the No. 1 ranking.

The match, between two players whose friendship goes back to their teenage years, when they grew up playing together at the Sánchez-Casal academy in Barcelona, lasted 1 hour, 42 minutes, and when it was over, Murray dropped his racket and put his hands on his head.

"It's something I never, never expected," Murray said in his on-court interview.

Djokovic gave him a warm embrace and some kind words at the net in a show of the enormous respect between them.

"Today we both were part of the history," Djokovic said. "It was an honor to be part of the big occasion. Andy's definitely No. 1 of the world. He's the best player. He deserved to win."

It was a career-best 24th straight victory and a fifth consecutive title for the Scot. In all, Murray won nine titles in a glittering season that also included a third major at Wimbledon and a second Olympic gold.

Murray became just the 17th different player in the history of the rankings to finish the season No. 1. He did it in a year in which his brother, Jamie Murray, finished No. 1 in the doubles rankings with partner Bruno Soares.

"It's been a tough rivalry with Novak," said Murray, who trails 24-11 in their head-to-head matches. "We've played Grand Slam finals, Olympics, matches like this. I've lost many of them. I'm happy I managed to get the win today and finish the year as No. 1."

Djokovic sprayed the court with unforced errors Sunday -- 30 in all -- while Murray rolled largely because of the impressive 84 percent of points he won on his first serve.

A fast start was key for Murray. Going into Sunday's meeting, Djokovic was 19-0 against the Scot when taking the first set.

This was Murray's first win over Djokovic indoors, an illustration of how much work Murray has done in the gym the past few years.

He has found ways to get over hurdles throughout his career, and there has been none higher than toppling Djokovic, who held all four Grand Slams simultaneously after their last meeting in the French Open final on June 5.

Afterward, Murray said he was going to take two weeks off from tennis before starting preparation for the 2017 season.


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