Andy Murray has beaten Novak Djokovic 6-3 6-4 to capture the ATP World Tour Finals title and secure the year-end world number-one ranking.
The 29-year-old Scot, who also triumphed at Wimbledon and at the Rio Olympics this year, became the first British man to end the year ranked number one since computer rankings were introduced in 1973.
Murray completed the feat despite Djokovic winning two 2016 Grand Slams (Australian Open, French Open). Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka won the 2016 US Open.
“I’m very happy to win and to be world number-one is very special. It’s something I never expected,” Murray said.
“We’ve played Grand Slam finals before but it’s very special playing against Novak in a match like this.”
Djokovic added: “I played better late in the match but it wasn’t enough.
“Andy is definitely number one in the world. He deserved to win. He is the best player.”
Defeating Djokovic in the final was made more remarkable given how the pair got to the season-ending face-off.
Murray, who should trademark the “tennis epic”, spent three hours 38 minutes — a tournament record — quelling the ferocious firepower of Milos Raonic, dragging himself to a 5-7 7-6 (5) 7-6 (9) victory in a fever-pitch atmosphere in London.
Meantime, Djokovic completed a 6-1 6-1 rout of Kei Nishikori.
Going into the final, Murray was protecting a three-month unbeaten run, a streak that helped eclipse Djokovic at the top of the rankings and now stands at a career-best 24 wins, with fanatical zeal.
Year ending number one players since 2000:
2000 Gustavo Kuerten (Brazil)
2001-02 Lleyton Hewitt (Australia)
2003 Andy Roddick (US)
2004-07 Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2008 Rafael Nadal (Spain)
2011-2 Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2016 Andy Murray (Britain)