Andy Murray beats Novak Djokovic to win ATP World Tour Finals title and seal world number one spot

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport at O2 Arena, London
Andy Murray has gone 24 matches without defeat

Britain's Andy Murray beat five-time champion Novak Djokovic to win his first ATP World Tour Finals title and end 2016 as the world number one.

With the year-end top ranking on the line, Murray won the much-anticipated final 6-3 6-4 at London's O2 Arena.

"I'm very happy to win and to be world number one is very special," said the Scot. "It's very special playing against Novak in a match like this."

Murray, 29, extended his career-best winning run to 24 matches.

The victory also ends Djokovic's four-year run of success at the tournament and the Serb's bid to equal Roger Federer's record of six titles.

Murray, who had won 10 of the pair's previous 34 encounters, added: "We've played Grand Slam finals and in the Olympics before, but I am very happy to win.

"It is something I never expected," he said, his win capping off a weekend that also saw brother Jamie Murray and partner Bruno Soares crowned world number one doubles pair.

A capacity crowd of 17,000 packed into the O2 Arena to witness a match that felt more like a heavyweight championship boxing bout than a tennis match, and it was Murray who rose to the occasion.

"Andy is definitely number one in the world," said Djokovic. "He deserved to win. He is the best player.

"In the decisive moments, I wasn't able to come back. I played better late in the match but it wasn't enough."

Andy Murray beats Novak Djokovic: Best shots from ATP World Tour Finals

How Murray made number one spot his own

Murray went into the match having played over three hours more than Djokovic during the course of the week, but in the end it was his big-match sharpness that prevailed.

He played with far greater purpose than Djokovic, who made 30 unforced errors in an unusually erratic performance.

Murray's experience of winning matches day in, day out through the second half of the year shone through, in contrast to the more tentative Djokovic we have seen since he won the French Open.

The Briton did open the match with a double fault, and another three points later, but he pressed for the break at 3-3 after Djokovic sent an easy smash wildly long and wide.

The breakthrough game two games later when Murray fired a forehand into the corner for a 5-3 lead, and the set followed after 46 minutes.

Andy Murray: World number one reflects on 'very special day'

Murray simply grew stronger and Djokovic more error-prone as the second set unfolded, two breaks giving him a seemingly impregnable 4-1 lead, before the champion fought back.

Djokovic recovered one break and raced through a service game to cut the deficit to 4-3, but Murray steadied the ship with a solid service hold to move within a game of victory.

When he beat Djokovic to win Wimbledon in 2013, Murray had to come through a tortuous 14-minute final game, and there was more tension this time.

The crowd were gripped as two match points passed before Djokovic finally succumbed on the third to give up his title - and the mantle of best player in the world.

Andy Murray after winMurrayMurrayAndy Murray with trophy after win


Andrew Castle, BBC Sport tennis commentator

This achievement, to put in perspective, is bigger than any grand slam. It takes an awful lot of work.

I didn't think it was possible today. Murray only had 24 hours to recover after a really taxing match. The first five games were important for Murray to establish himself and when he got the break, he took it. That is when the belief round here grew.

You knew Djokovic wouldn't go away without a fight but Murray found a way to get over the line.

Watch Djokovic play 'nightmare' shots against Murray

How the world reacted

Jamie Murray tweet
Andy's brother Jamie has finished the year world number one in doubles
Roger Federer tweet
Seven-time Grand Slam champion had praise for both players
Johanna Konta tweet
British women's number one Johanna Konta is 10th in the world
JK Rowling tweet
Harry Potter author JK Rowling cheered Murray on...
Gary Lineker tweet
... as did Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker
Justin Rose tweet
Golfer Justin Rose won Olympic gold in Rio, as did Murray
Nicola Sturgeon tweet
The Scottish First Minister was thrilled by Murray's win

Perhaps last word should go to mum...

Judy Murray's tweet
Andy and Jamie Murray's mum, Judy, tweeted shortly after Sunday's win


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