Andy Murray has clinched year-end No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, the 17th different player to do so in history (since 1973).
The milestone was achieved in dramatic fashion on Sunday when he beat his rival for top spot, Novak Djokovic, 6-3, 6-4 in the title match of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at The O2 in London.
It was the first time in history that the year-end No. 1 ranking was on the line for both players in the final ATP World Tour match of the season.
It was also the first time since Lisbon in 2000 that the year-end No. 1 ranking was decided in the final. That year, Brazil’s Gustavo Kuerten defeated Andre Agassi of the United States in the final to finish No. 1 ahead of Russia’s Marat Safin.
The 29-year-old Briton, who replaced Serbia’s Djokovic at No. 1 on 7 November, has enjoyed a career-best season capturing nine titles – including Wimbledon, three ATP World Tour Masters 1000s and the Olympic gold medal – from 13 tour-level finals.
It is the 13th straight season that the year-end World No. 1 ranking has been held by a member of the ‘Big Four’ – Roger Federer (2004-07, ’09), Rafael Nadal (2008, ‘10, ‘13), Djokovic (2011-12, ’14-15) or Murray (2016).
“It’s a very special day, playing against Novak in a match like this,” said Murray. “We’ve played in Grand Slam finals, Olympics and matches like this – it’s been a tough rivalry. I’ve lost many of them, but I am happy to have got the win today to clinch the year-end No. 1. It’s very special, it’s something that I never expected. My team and family have been a great help, making a lot of sacrifices for me and my tennis. I’d like to congratulate Novak on everything he has achieved this year.”
Chris Kermode, the ATP Executive Chairman and President, said, “What an amazing finish to the ATP World Tour season. To have the Top 2 players in the world battling it out for the No. 1 ranking in the final match of the year is unprecedented. Huge credit goes to both players for their phenomenal seasons, and congratulations to Andy on not only winning the season finale, but finishing as year-end No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time. He joins an elite group of players to have achieved one of the greatest triumphs in sport in finishing the season as No.1.”