At long lost, Andy Murray has finally reached No. 1. And he made history today by not having to hit a single ball after Milos Raonic retired from his semifinal match against the Scot due to a quad injury in the Paris Indoors Masters semifinals.
First, congrats to Murray. He has won just about everything since the French Open and is currently sitting on an 18-match win streak as he heads into the Paris final tomorrow against John Isner.
Until this season, Murray has been mostly a second fiddle, third fiddle and even fourth fiddle. In fact, many didn’t want to include him in the Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal-Novak Djokovic Big Three. Of course, that’s since expanded to the Big 4, and rightfully so.
The 29-year-old Murray now becomes the 26th player to reach No. 1, and just the fourth to do it in almost 13 years (since February 2004, it’s only been Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and now Murray).
Obviously, there was a lot of doubt Murray would ever reach this high or win a Slam. Win a Slam, yes, but I don’t think I thought he’d get to No. 1, not with the way Djokovic was playing earlier this year. But breaks happen, that’s part of the game. And he deserves it.
“To get to No. 1 isn’t about today, but it’s about 12 months of tournaments to get to this stage,” said Murray. “The last few months have been the best of my career and I am very proud to have reached No. 1. It has been a goal of mine for the past few years.”
Recall Murray’s semi-struggles earlier this year, losing to Delbonis at Indian Wells, Dimitrov in Miami followed by clay losses to Nadal in Monte Carlo and Djokovic in Madrid, but he won Rome, reached the French Open final, reunited with Ivan Lendl and since then won another Wimbledon, won another gold and is now on top of the world.
Murray, though, still has work to do to keep that ranking. Win or lose tomorrow against Isner, the ranking will be decided in London with the winner (either Murray or Djokovic) walking away not just with the ATP Finals title but also the No. 1.
“I have to give a lot of credit to Jamie Delgado who, to get to No. 1 it takes a full year’s work, and he’s been there for every tournament. He’s been there every single day working with me from the beginning of this year. You know, he deserves a lot of credit for the work that he’s done with me, as well, this year.”
“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,” Murray added. “I was so far behind in terms of points and 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 match.
“But things can turn around quickly in this sport and it’s just a strange sport. You had Novak losing yesterday to a guy who he won 14 times in a row against. And then John beating 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.”
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