Andy Murray seals world No.1 spot with ATP World Tour Finals crown after Djokovic win

Andy Murray seals world No.1 spot with ATP World Tour Finals crown after Djokovic win

20 November 2016 / 21:28
Andy Murray will end the year as world No.1 after defeating Novak Djokovic 6-3 6-4 to win the ATP World Tour Finals.

Despite playing in the two longest games the tournament has ever seen, Murray battled right from the off at London's 02 Arena, eventually taking the break to move 5-3 ahead in the first set.

Closing out the set, the 2016 Olympic gold medallist and Wimbledon champion never looked back, immediately breaking in the second in the 35th meeting between the pair.

He was to break again, though Djokovic got back into the match immediately after as he showed the resilience that has seen him top the rankings and win two Grand Slams of his own this year.

But after an epic last game of the match, it was Murray who prevailed, winning the last of his three Championship points to take the ATP World Tour Finals crown, a victory that guarantees him top spot heading into 2017.

"It's a very special day, playing against Novak in a match like this," he said.

"We've played Grand Slams finals, Olympic finals and it's a tough rivalry, I've lost many of them so to finish the year winning and becoming world No.1 is very special, something I never expected.

"I couldn't do this without my team, they've all been a huge help and some of them have been around for a long time.

"My family have been there from the start and have made sacrifices for me and my tennis, so a huge thanks to all of them.

"There are a lot of great champions here watching and Novak and I are very lucky to have two of them in our boxes. It's a very special day and huge congratulations to Novak for everything he has achieved this year."

There were fears that fatigue would set in for Murray, on the back of two gruelling games against Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic that had spanned seven hours between them.

In contrast, Djokovic's own semi-final against Nishikori had lasted close to the hour mark, though the difference between the two seemed unrecgonisable early on.

That was in the fitness stakes at least, Murray double-faulting twice in the first game before finally holding on to get his name on the board.

The two continued to trade games until Murray led 4-3, going on to break the Serb before holding his own effort to wrap up the first set.

And the momentum didn’t stop there, the backhand slice proving its worth with yet another break from the first game of the second set.

It was to get better still, the Britain making no mistake from three break points to go 4-1 ahead and just two games from victory.

It took until the sixth game of the second set for Djokovic to earn his own chance, capitalising to set the nerves running in the capital as the finishing line remained tantalisingly close.

And the jitters kept coming too, Murray boasting three Championship points as Djokovic refused to give in, a second serve eventually coming back too far to bring to an end the 12-year, three-strong stranglehold of world tennis.

Sportsbeat 2016

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