Paris - Newly-minted world number one Andy Murray admitted
rising to the top of the rankings amid a golden era in men's tennis made his
achievement even more satisfying.
Murray, 29, will replace long-time rival Novak Djokovic at
the summit when the latest ATP rankings are released next week after reaching
the final of the Paris Masters on Saturday.
The Scot received a walkover into Sunday's final after Milos
Raonic was struck down by a leg injury sustained in his quarter-final against
Regardless of Murray's result against American John Isner in
the final, he will end Djokovic's reign and become just the fourth different
player to top the rankings since 2004.
Murray follows in the footsteps of record 17-time major
champion Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic - all of whom have completed
a career Grand Slam - in ascending to number one.
"I think that's the most satisfying thing, really. It's
been such a difficult thing to do during my career because of how good the guys
around me have been, the guys ahead of me," said Murray.
"I mean, even this year, the year I have had to have to
even be there for one week and be like 20 points ahead or whatever.
"I have had to win so many matches and get to the
latter stage of pretty much every tournament that I have played. It's just been
- it's been really, really hard to do it, been really difficult.
"Obviously they are three of the best players that have
ever played the game and had some of the years that they have had in that
period, as well, have been ridiculous, really, like three slams and double
slams and many Masters Series, as well.
"So, you know, it's taken a great year to get
Murray suffered an eighth Grand Slam final defeat in 10
attempts when he was beaten in four sets by Djokovic at the French Open in
He admitted knocking Djokovic from his pedestal as world
number one couldn't have been further from his mind at the time, making
Murray's rapid rise all the more incredible.
"It's something I have never achieved before and wasn't
something that I necessarily felt like I was going to do even this year, even
after the French Open or the beginning of the year.
"I was so far behind in terms of points, and, you know,
the amount of matches it would take me to win. I never expected to do what I
had done after the French Open, so I was really down after I lost that
Despite being second in the rankings, Murray was a
staggering 8 000 points behind Djokovic after the 12-time major winner claimed
the final Grand Slam missing from his list of honours.
"But things can turn around quick in sport, and it's
just a strange sport," added Murray, who will become the 26th different
world number one since computerised rankings began in 1973.
"You had Novak losing yesterday to a guy who won 14
times in a row against. And then John beating (Marin) Cilic today who he'd lost
six in a row against the following day.
"Stuff can turn around quick, and the last few months
have been really good."
Murray has won a career-high 72 matches this year, while a
first Paris Masters title would increase his record haul to eight for the
The Scot is also riding an 18-match winning streak -
excluding Saturday's walkover - after title runs in Beijing, Shanghai and