Andy Murray is the world’s No 1 player at last

Andy Murray celebrates after defeating John Isner at the final match of the Paris Masters. Picture: AP Photo/Christophe Ena
Andy Murray celebrates after defeating John Isner at the final match of the Paris Masters. Picture: AP Photo/Christophe Ena
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Andy Murray today officially becomes the world’s top tennis player, sealed after a hard-fought victory in the Paris Masters.

Murray beat American John Isner by two sets to one to take his eighth ATP Tour title of the season.

The 29-year-old had already reached the top of the world singles rankings after Milos Raonic’s withdrawal from his scheduled semi-final clash with Murray on Saturday.

That was enough for Murray to overhaul Novak Djokovic, who had spent 122 consecutive weeks as number one from July 2014 before his quarter-final defeat to Marin Cilic.

Murray is also the first British player to achieve the feat.

Murray said: “This has been an incredible journey to get to the top of the rankings.

Thanking his family back in Scotland, he pledged: “I’ll keep working hard to get better.”

The player is the oldest first-time number one since John Newcombe in 1974, a year after the rankings system was put in place.

Murray has been relentless in trying to wring every last drop out of his talent and has never been afraid to make bold decisions.

His latest triumph follows eight titles, three grand slams – the third at Wimbledon this year – and two Olympic gold medals.

Former British number one Tim Henman believes Murray can consolidate his position at the top of world tennis and is now the man to beat.

He said: “Serving his apprenticeship and waiting for his moment, I do feel this is his moment.

“If Andy stays fit and healthy I see him being the dominant force.”

Murray’s mother Judy said his rise to the top had been built on his ability to bounce back from huge disappointments.

She is convinced the loss of his first four grand slam finals just made him stronger.

She said: “He has incredible fighting spirit and resilience and over the many years, through the juniors and senior tour, you have to be able to enjoy the successes, and that is easy.

“But recovering from the defeats that really hurt you, like the grand slam finals for example, these are really tough to overcome because you’re right up at the top.

“That’s when it’s important to have a very strong network of people around you, who can help you and support you and encourage you, but from a very young age he’s always been one of those guys who, if he suffers a defeat that hurts him, he comes back stronger. It just made him want to work harder.”