Andy Murray has achieved what no British singles tennis player has achieved in over 40 years. He has taken the men’s tennis world number one spot at the expense of Novak Djokovic. This is the first occasion Britain has had a male singles number one since computerised rankings first started for tennis in 1973.
This is a momentous occasion both for Andy Murray personally and for British tennis as a whole. The achievement is all the greater considering that Djokovic had almost double the amount of ranking points as Murray in June.
To top off an already fantastic week, he has also just won his first ever Paris Masters final, beating the American John Isner 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-4. This was a hard-won victory for Murray, who was pushed to his limits at times during this match particularly during the third set with the 6’8″ American’s serve proving too much for Murray at times. However he rallied in the final set, and won the final game and the match with a trademark precise backhand that left Isner well beaten.
This has been a stellar year for Murray with some memorable moments coming in the form of winning Wimbledon and achieving Olympic gold. He also reached 11 finals in 12 events and has had a personal best of winning 73 matches. Not to mention the birth of his first child, Sophia, back in February.
Praise has been coming in from various corners in the wake of the rankings this week, with Nicola Sturgeon, Justin Rose and even fellow rival Roger Federer offering their congratulations on Twitter. This will clearly be a difficult year for Murray to top in terms of achievements, but his aim now must be to maintain his run of good form and his number one spot. Novak Djokovic will have renewed determination to reclaim the top spot so Murray cannot rest on his laurels if he wishes to hold on to title of being the best in the world.
Having a British player at the very top of world tennis will do more than just give ordinary Britons bragging rights, it will hopefully inspire others to take up the sport in the knowledge that one day they could follow in Murray’s shoes and achieve some of the incredible feats he has done. In recent years, interest in tennis has certainly increased at a grassroots level, and some credit for this must surely be given to Murray due to the media attention that his success has brought to the sport.
He now has to look forward to the season-ending World Tour Finals which take place in London at the O2 arena from the 13th – 20th November. The tournament is made up of the eight best qualified men’s singles players which are split into two groups of four. Alongside Andy Murray in his group is Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Marin Čilić.
The former number one Novak Djokovic is placed in the other group, and if Murray and Djokovic do meet in the final, Murray will be seeking revenge for his defeat to Djokovic in the French Open earlier this year, whereas Djokovic will be chasing his return to number one seed. This will make for an even more exciting and nail-biting end to what has been an exceptional season of tennis.