A major change took place at the top of the ATP Rankings on Saturday as Andy Murray replaced Novak Djokovic to become the new World No. 1. The Scot was guaranteed the top spot if he succeeded in beating Milos Raonic in the semi-finals of the ongoing Paris Masters. But the fourth-seeded Canadian withdrew right before their match due to a leg injury which instantly pushed Murray to the pinnacle.
The Wimbledon champion thus becomes the first British man and the 26th different player to hold on to the coveted spot since computer rankings were initiated in August, 1973. The 29-year-old is also the oldest player to debut at the summit since John Newcombe reigned there in 1974 at the age of 30.
With Murray’s coronation, all four members of ATP’s famed quartet – the Big Four – have now risen to the top, the others being Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic.
The Serb had ascended the No. 1 ranking in his latest stint on 7 July 2014. With Murray taking over, it ends a 122-week reign for Djokovic. The 12-time Grand Slam champion, however, still has a chance to wrest it back at the upcoming World Tour Finals and the year-end No. 1 ranking will depend on the performances of both at this elite event.
The ranking is a reward for the Scot’s lifelong dedication to his sport and his perseverance. Murray met with heartbreak at the beginning of this year at both the Australian Open and the French Open finals, both times falling to Djokovic. But that could not deter the Briton who embarked on an incredible run since April in self-admittedly the most consistent season of his career.
Since he lost in the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters on clay in April, he reached 9 finals in the 10 tournaments that he played prior to this week with the only exception being the US Open where he was ousted in the quarter-finals.
That stretch saw him clinching his second title at Wimbledon as well as a second men’s singles gold medal at the Olympics, besides five more titles at the Rome Masters, the Shanghai Masters, Beijing, Vienna and the Queen’s.
His post-US Open season on the ATP Tour, especially, has been immaculate and the Scot is yet to lose a match since the season’s final Slam, grabbing three titles last month.
And with Raonic’s withdrawal today at the Paris Masters, Murray makes it to yet another final where he will lock horns with John Isner for the title.