Briton Andy Murray won his maiden ATP World Tour Finals title at London’s O2 Arena on Sunday to cap a spectacular season that saw him end 2016 as the world No 1. Murray beat five-time champion Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-4 in the title-round to extend his winning streak to 24 matches.
Djokovic, looking to reclaim the top-ranking he lost earlier this month, was superior on head-to-head record going into the final, having defeated the Scot in their previous encounter – final of the French Open. All of those stats went out of the window as Murray broke the Serbian on three occasions to clinch the match.
Murray, who became the No 1-ranked player for the first time earlier this month, broke the Serbian in the eighth game of the opening set with a forehand winner to take a 5-3 lead, and eventually wrapped up the set in just 46 minutes with Djokovic struggling to match him from the baseline.
Djokovic’s unforced errors increased in the second set as Murray raced to a 4-1 lead in no time as after he broke his opponent twice. However, there was still some fight left in the Serbian, who broke back to get to 4-3. It was too little, too late, though as Murray recovered to hold his service games to seal the match.
"I'm very happy to win and to be world number one is very special. It's very special playing against Novak in a match like this," Murray told BBC.
Murray has stopped Djokovic from equalling Roger Federer’s record of six WTA World Tour Finals crowns for now.
"We've played Grand Slam finals and in the Olympics before, but I am very happy to win (this). It is something I never expected,” the Briton added.
Djokovic was graceful in defeat.
"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.”