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Murray beats Djokovic in battle for top spot

Andy Murray of Britain plays a return to Milos Raonic of Canada during their ATP World Tour Finals semifinal singles tennis match at the O2 Arena in London Murray survives match point to beat Raonic at ATP finals
Elettra Stolfi | 21 Novembre, 2016, 13:54

Andy Murray earned the year-end No. 1 ranking and his first title at the ATP finals on Sunday, beating Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-4 in the last match of the year.

Andy Murray will take on Novak Djokovic in the title match of 2016 ATP World Tour Finals in London on 20 November. Murray who was on a 23-match winning streak has now ended Djokovic's run and dominance as world number one. Thankfully I managed to win today.

Andy Murray has sent out a warning to the rest of tennis that he intends to stay on top of the world for as long as possible.

"I'm obviously exhausted. I've played so much tennis the last few months, this week I've played a lot of long matches so I'll just give it my best effort tomorrow, the best of what I have".

An early break in the second got Murray back on his way and once he secured the double-break, the match, and the No. 1 spot, was his.

It caps an incredible 11 months for Murray, who won Wimbledon for the second time, claimed a second Olympic gold medal and became a father for the first time.

This was the first time the number one ranking had been decided on the final match of the season and it was hard to disagree when Djokovic described the contest as one of the biggest they will ever play. The number one and two ranked players in tennis face each other Sunday. "More than anything, he (Murray) felt comfortable in the rallies and exactly knew what to do".

"It's been a tough rivalry", Murray said.

There were concerns that fatigue may be a crucial factor heading into the much-hyped contest, with Murray having played nearly three and a half hours more tennis than Djokovic en route to the final.

Djokovic said after the match, "Andy is definitely number one in the world".

Djokovic refused to give Murray any leeway in his first three games on serve. "My family as well - they've been around for a long time and made a lot of sacrifices for me". He has lost in the Finals on five occasions, four times to Djokovic (2011, 2013, 2015, 2016) and once to Federer (2010).

Djokovic added: "I played better late in the match but it wasn't enough".

On Saturday he spent three hours 38 minutes defeating Canada's Milos Raonic, having beaten Kei Nishikori in another three-hour epic in the group stage.

"Stan is one of the best players in the world.

It just wasn't my day", said Djokovic, before hailing his opponent as a "deserved" victor.

To be the best you have to beat the best, and that is exactly what Djokovic has done in recent seasons.

The Serb while compared to Murray will be fresher regarding energy levels as his victory in the last few rounds have not been hard fought.

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