LONDON, November 20, 2016
In a Hollywood ending to the 2016 ATP season, World No. 1 Andy Murray defeated World No. 2 Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s championships match of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals 6-3, 6-4. In addition to the season finale title, Murray has become the 17th player in the history of the Emirates ATP Rankings to finish No. 1.
The 29-year-old Scot was the dominant player in the final against a pretty emotionless Serbian, breaking Djokovic’s serve three times. Murray was wide awake in the decisive moments to celebrate his first triumph at the O2 after one hour and 43 minutes.
Djokovic had to admit his 11th loss to Murray in the pair’s 35th tour meeting.
“I expected him to play on a high level. As I said yesterday after my semifinals, I didn’t expect him to be too tired,” he said. “But I just played very poorly, made a lot of unforced errors from the backhand side. It just wasn’t my day. On the other hand, credit to Andy for being mentally tough and playing the right shots, making me play extra shots in every rally. He definitely deserved to win.”
Djokovic also had an advice for the journalists: “We should all let Andy enjoy this a little bit. Don’t ask him questions about next season. He deserves to be in the moment and to really take everything in what he achieved. His team as well, and his wife. She has to get some credit, guys. She gave birth this year. He has traveled all over the place. I know how it is with my wife Jelena, what she had to go through as a mother back home with a little baby. So, Kim, well done. She’s maybe made even a bigger effort than Andy.”
Djokovic hasn’t given up the tradition and handed some of his “Super Balls” to the journalists after his press conference.
Murray Finishes Year-End No. 1
By clinching his 44th ATP title, Murray earns $1,130,000 in prize money as well as 500 Emirates Ranking points.
“I don’t think that was one of Novak’s best matches. I think we have played better matches together,” the Scot told. “The end of the match was exciting and dramatic. But, there were mistakes from both of us. I was solid enough when I needed to be. I didn’t make those mistakes. Tactically I played a good match. It was obviously a good performance. You never beat a player as good as Novak if you don’t play well.”
The Dunblane native, who replaced Djokovic at No. 1 on 7 November, has enjoyed a career-best season capturing nine titles – including Wimbledon, three ATP World Tour Masters 1000s and the Olympic gold medal – from 13 tour-level finals. He finishes the season at the Top of the Rankings.
“I would like to try and stay there. It’s taken a huge effort the last five, six months to get there. I’m aware that’s going to be extremely difficult because I had a great year this year. I only managed to do it by one match. To repeat that again next year is going to be extremely difficult. But now that I’ve got there, I obviously would be motivated to try and stay in that position. The majors are what gets me working hard and what really, really motivates me. When I go away in December to train, I’m training with the Australian Open in mind. Because of the best-of-five-set matches, they’re the ones you have to really put in the extra work for and the extra training for. That’s what motivates me.”
Andy Murray has already announced to kick-off the 2017 season at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi.