Andy Murray might have played the longest three-set match at the ATP World Tour Finals in the semifinals on Saturday, but not fatigue, not the man who has beaten him in numerous finals before, not a thing was going to stand in between the Scot and his year-end No.1 ranking. Novak Djokovic tried, but even the former world number one could do little as Murray clinched his first ever ATP World Tour Finals title.
Coming into this final after a nerve-jangling semifinal win over Milos Raonic, Murray was expected to be given a really difficult fight by Djokovic, and while there were a few signs of a possible classic here and there, in the end, the Scot showed why he deserves to be called the best player in the world at the moment.
Murray beat Djokovic, his nemesis for pretty much his entire career, 6-3, 6-4 to stamp his authority on his greatest rival and crown what has been a fantastic 2016.
"It's a very special day, playing against Novak in a match like this," Murray said. "We've played in Grand Slam finals, Olympics and matches like this – it's been a tough rivalry. I've lost many of them, but I am happy to have got the win to clinch the year-end No. 1.
"It's very special, it's something that I never expected. My team and family have been a great help, making a lot of sacrifices for me and my tennis. I'd like to congratulate Novak on everything he has achieved this year."
For Djokovic, this loss was more evidence of how his form and temperament has nosedived since winning the French Open title to complete a career Grand Slam. Having failed to win the final two Grand Slams of the year in Wimbledon and the US Open, Djokovic had shown signs of getting somewhere resembling his best in this ATP World Tour Finals, but in Murray, he ran into a player in better form and at the top of his game.
However, knowing the great man, Djokovic will find a way to get back to his best before the start of next season. So, expect these two to reignite their rivalry in the Australian Open in 2017.