Great Britain's Andy Murray is the new world number one after reaching the final of the Paris Masters following Milos Raonic's withdrawal through injury. Following Novak Djokovic's loss to Marin Cilic, the 29-year-old's passage into the final in the French capital is enough to see him become the first Briton to top the ATP rankings in its 43-year history.
The achievement adds to the best year of the Scot's career, which has seen him win a third grand slam at Wimbledon, retain his Olympic singles title at Rio 2016 and amid a career-best haul of seven titles. The year of 2016 has also seen Murray become a father for the first time, after the birth of first child Sophia Olivia in February.
Raonic saw off Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets in the quarter-final but suffered a torn thigh muscle during the victory which sees Murray end Djokovic's 122-week run at the top of the rankings, and become the 26th different man to reach the summit of the men's game. The British number one will now face American John Isner in the final in Paris at 2pm GMT on Sunday [6 November] - after he beat Cilic in the first semi-final - and will be tasked with ending the year as number one at the ATP World Tour Finals in London.
"Obviously getting to world number one, like I said, is 12 months of work basically and consistency,"he said. "I've never done that before in my career, I've had periods where I've been consistent for a few months at a time and then drops-offs, whereas this year – barring the month in March – I can't have done much better than I have done. Even some of the matches that I lost in, you know, Davis Cup, or even at the US Open, those are matches that could have gone the other way as well.
Though Murray will not be officially installed as the world number one until the rankings are revised on Monday [7 November] he is braced to join a select group of British sporting greats alongside the likes of five-time Olympic rowing champion Sir Steve Redgrave, former unified heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis and twice Olympic decathlon gold medallist Daley Thompson.
While the long-time British number one celebrates the breakthrough achievement, injury to Raonic throws into question his participation at the season-ending ATP Finals starting on 13 November. The Canadian, who lost in the Wimbledon final to Murray in July, revealed he struggled to get out of bed on Saturday morning [5 November] before a subsequent scan revealed the extent of his fitness problem.
"Yesterday at I believe 4-2 in the first set I began feeling something in my leg - I didn't think too much of it at the time," said Raonic, who could have gone to a career-best world number three had he beaten Murray. "This morning I had trouble waking up and getting out of bed. I had some tests and an MRI and they found I have a grade one tear in the right quad so I'm unfortunately not able to compete."