Andy Murray reacts to his own World No. 1 ranking, says it was "a whole year's work"
Andy Murray, who had been due to play his Wimbledon rival Milos Raonic in the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Paris Masters yesterday, saw himself ascend to the World No. 1 rank after Raonic withdrew from the match.
The previous day, defending No. 1 Novak Djokovic had been ousted from the tournament in straight sets courtesy a singularly aggressive performance from Marin Cilic; the Croat ace’s win meant that Murray would only need to progress to the finals to become the World No. 1. That put Murray, who was due to play Milos Raonic in the semi-finals, in a strong position for that title.
With Raonic’s withdrawal, meaning Murray had a walkover to the final, Andy Murray was officially crowned World No. 1.
In an interview with BBC Sport following the match, Murray described himself as “very, very proud.”
How he found out
“I was in the locker room, going over tactics and trying to figure out some things related to the match, when Milos came up to me and told me he wouldn’t be able to play, and congratulations on becoming World No. 1,” Murray said.
The two had earlier faced off at the finals of Wimbledon this year, with Murray winning his second title at Wimbledon and third Grand Slam of his career for the title.
“It’s pretty different to winning the title on Centre Court (at Wimbledon), he said, “but I was up all last night thinking about that moment, you know, of actually doing it.”
That Murray has long nursed the dream of becoming World No 1 is no secret; the Scot has constantly made changes to his game, lineup and team to improve his game all through this season, most notably bringing back Ivan Lendl and replacing Amelie Mauresmo as his coach this year.
“I was thinking a lot about winning today, obviously that didn’t happen,” he said, “but it’s not about today. It’s about the whole year’s work, and I got lucky today (unfortunately for Milos’ injury), but this is a long time of hard work.”
Murray was characteristically humble about his achievement, and stressed on the fact that he had “only just got there, and the year I’ve had to have to only just get there, is unreal.” He continued in praise of former No. 1 Novak Djokovic and acknowledged his skills, saying “the year Novak has had, barring the last six weeks or so, have been absolutely incredible. I’ve had to work extremely hard to get there this year, won matches in the second part of the year, it’s much harder to get to No. 1 than it is to win slams.”
But the first people Murray spoke to were his family. “My mum’s here,” he said, speaking of Judy Murray, who was herself a former tennis professional before she had sons Jamie and Andy, “and my wife (Kim) on the phone.”
Murray also spoke to British former No. 1 Tim Henman “very briefly” as well.
Not the only No. 1 in the family
The interviewer mentions that there were now two World No. 1 players in the Murray family; older brother Jamie, a doubles specialist, was earlier this year the top-ranked men’s doubles player in the past, finding immense success with his Brazilian partner Bruno Soares.
“It’s amazing really, that it happened the same year,” he says, “and if that’s the order things had to happen, they have happened. We’re both extremely happy,” he said.