ATP World Tour Finals: Andy Murray claims a historic title and year-end number one ranking

The Scottish became the seventeenth man to end the year at number one in the world as he won the ATP World Tour Finals for the first time, dispatching Novak Djokovic in straight sets.

ATP World Tour Finals: Andy Murray claims a historic title and year-end number one ranking
Murray with the ATP World Tour Finals trophy (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Andy Murray
2 0
Novak Djokovic

Andy Murray claimed both the ATP World Tour Finals title and the year-end number one ranking with an emphatic 6-3, 6-4 victory over defending champion Novak Djokovic. This was the first time in history that the last match of the season would decide the year-end number one, and Murray's victory seen him hold on to the top spot and become the seventeenth man in history to end the year at world number one This victory ends Murray's outstanding year on a twenty-four match and five title win streak. 

Djokovic sailed through his opening couple of service games but Murray broke through late in the set to secure the lead. Murray's level of play was in doubt before the match after his grueling semifinal encounter with Milos Raonic, but it was his opponent who looked tired as Djokovic racked up the unforced errors. Murray stayed solid throughout and dominated from the baseline. The only real lapse coming as the Brit took a double break lead in the second set and let one of them slip away, but he quickly recovered to come through a battle on serve and seal the convincing win in straight sets. 

Number one in control

Murray began the match with a double fault but followed by coming out on top of a long rally and hammering down an ace to take the lead on serve. Another double-fault gave Djokovic opportunities at 30-30 but the Brit fought through the hold to edge in front. Djokovic then came through a simple love hold, with big first serves giving him the advantage. Better serving seen Murray through another service game to stay ahead at 2-1. 

Djokovic dictated on serve again to come through another easy hold, with Murray yet to win a point on return. A scorching forehand back behind Djokovic took Murray ahead on serve with an overhead winner for the Serb leveling them up. A couple of errors on return from Djokovic took Murray ahead 3-2.  

Murray reaches for the ball (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Murray reaches for the ball (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

A forehand down the line winner gave Murray his first point on the Djokovic serve, tying them up at 15-15. Another big forehand from the Brit caused an error from Djokovic to take them to 30-30. More big hitting from the world number one caused Djokovic to send the ball into the net and brought up a break point for Murray. Great defense saved it and another as Djokovic earned himself a game point. Murray fired a return winner that Djokovic thought was going long to take them back to deuce. Another game point came and went as a terrible smash from Djokovic flew wide, but the Serb battled his way through to hold on for 3-3 in a ten-minute game. Murray dealt with the disappointment of the missed opportunities well to come through an impressive hold. 

Murray was pressuring again on return, pushing Djokovic to deuce. A good return from Murray and a loose forehand into the net from Djokovic brought up the third break point of the match. A good change of direction with the backhand slice from Murray put Djokovic off and the Brit took the break that would allow him to serve for the opener. The Serb took a lead on return but Murray leveled them up quickly. The pair traded blows in a backhand exchange and Djokovic was the one to miss first, Murray edging ahead, two points away from the set. Another backhand miss from the world number two gave Murray two set points and the Brit took the first as Djokovic netted a backhand.  

A famous victory

Murray continued his momentum into the second set, earning two break points in the opening game. Impressive serving got Djokovic out of trouble and back to deuce, but Murray quickly pounced again, firing a clean forehand winner to earn another break point. Deep hitting from Djokovic erased it but as the Serb earned a game point, Murray took the next two to earn a fourth break point opportunity. Some great defense saw Murray through the early break. A quick easy hold followed for the Brit as he consolidated his lead at 2-0. Djokovic came through a much better game, holding on to end Murray's run of games at five straight.  

Djokovic took a lead on the return as he came out on top of another baseline rally but Murray quickly recovered to take the next four points, outstanding defense and great serving taking him through another hold for a 3-1 lead. The errors continued to fly from Djokovic's racket as Murray stayed extremely solid from the baseline to take a 0-30 lead. A scorching backhand passing shot seen Murray earn three break points. Djokovic saved the first but a backhand long on the second gave Murray the double break lead at 4-1. 

There were chances on the return for Djokovic in the next game as a double fault from Murray followed by a huge return from the Serb brought up a first break point for Djokovic. Deep hitting from the world number two forced the error from Murray and Djokovic took his first break to keep hopes of a comeback alive. The Serb then flew through a love hold as he closed the gap to 4-3.  

Murray with the year-end number one trophy (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Murray with the year-end number one trophy (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

A thirty-three stroke rally saw Djokovic take his ninth point in a row but the streak ended as the Serb netted a forehand in the next point. A great serve followed by some outstanding defense seen Murray through the crucial hold as he made Djokovic to serve to stay in the match. Djokovic came through the game with a convincing hold, forcing Murray to try and serve out the match.  

Another unforced error got Murray off to a lead as he served for the title. An ace followed for the Brit but a deep return from Djokovic seen him get a foothold in the game. The pressure was on Murray as an error took them to 30-30. Djokovic reached a volley from Murray but the lob landed out to bring up a championship point. Punishing returning from Djokovic seen him through to deuce but a second match point arrived with a huge serve out wide.

A huge return saw the Serb dictate again to bring them to deuce for the second time. Djokovic sent a forehand wide to bring up a third match point and another error from the Serb sealed a famous victory for Murray who claimed his first ATP World Tour Finals title and the year-end number one ranking.