Another tennis tournament, another Andy Murray victory: the train of triumphs has become so familiar as to barely occasion surprise – only a sense of wonder at how long his mantelpiece must now be to hold all his silverware.
Yet his success in beating American John Isner to win his first Paris Masters title has brought him the greatest triumph of any UK tennis player. This is his sixth title this year, and after collecting the honours of a second Olympic and Wimbledon titles, he is now at the top of the world rankings.
It is a truly breath-taking achievement, from a sportsman of skill, dedication and commitment, and an accomplishment the full magnitude of which has still to sink in. Today he will be officially confirmed as Britain’s first singles number one since computerised rankings were introduced in 1973. Murray’s ascent was confirmed by Milos Raonic’s withdrawal from Saturday’s semi-final with a leg injury. He now heads to the season-ending World Tour Finals as top seed for the first time.
Murray’s triumph in Paris was no walk-over. The unseeded Isner used his powerful serve to the full to snatch two break points from Murray in the final set. But skill and persistence saw the Scot through.
He now holds the record for the longest time between first becoming number two and becoming number one - seven years and over two months. And his success has risen way above expectations stretching back decades for a UK player. Scotland has every reason to be deeply proud of what Murray has achieved. His ascent to the top seed owes much to an astonishing persistence and commitment – qualities of true grit that will serve as an inspiration and beacon for all who love the game.