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Andy Murray is the first player from Great Britain to reach No. 1 in the history of the Emirates ATP Rankings (since 1973).

Andy Murray Rises To No. 1

Murray becomes first player from Great Britain to rank No. 1

Andy Murray stands on top of the mountain, the 26th player to rise to No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings – and the oldest first-time No. 1 since 30-year-old John Newcombe in June 1974.

More than seven years after he first ranked No. 2 on 17 August 2009, Murray’s seven stints in second position have totalled 76 weeks. But today, in reaching the BNP Paribas Masters final in Paris, the 29 year old has fulfilled a richly deserved long-term goal.

Reaching the summit, in his 12th season as a pro, is a reward for Murray’s dedication, perseverance and improvements – both mentally and technically – in a golden era for men’s professional tennis, led by the dominance of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic over the past 13 years.

Now every member of the ‘Big Four’ – Federer (302 weeks), Djokovic (223 weeks), Nadal (141 weeks) and Murray – has attained the top spot in the Emirates ATP Rankings. Murray’s march to No. 1 over the past 12 months has encompassed a 76-11 match record and seven titles from 11 finals.

The Lendl Factor, first forged in 2012, has been an important part of Murray’s transformation to consistently challenge his rivals. The setting up of regular training blocks, with up to six players of specialised skills, aided technical improvements – most notably his second serve and forehand, and also moved him away from a passive to aggressive game. Murray’s on-court behaviour also improved, and, in wearing his heart on his sleeve, the British public began to warm, empathise and learn more about the sacrifices he has made to be a world-beater.

As a player, former World No. 1 Ivan Lendl was always looking for an edge, whether from nutrition, fitness or psychological strength, and when he joined Murray’s team on 31 December 2011, he did everything he could to give Murray an advantage. In their 26 months together, Murray went 113-28, with seven titles – including the 2012 Olympic Games gold, US Open and 2013 Wimbledon crowns – from 12 finals.

But by the time they reunited at the Aegon Championships on 12 June this year, the seeds were sown to end Djokovic’s domination and make an assault on No. 1. As Lendl commented, “Until you win, you never know if you have it in you. We know now, he does have it in him. So the question is: can he do it again? That is an easier question to answer, than can he do it at all. There’s quite a bit of difference.”

With the support of former pro Jamie Delgado, a long-time friend and tactical thinker, who has a great attention to detail, Murray gained a confidant and travelling coach. Lendl, who himself spent 270 weeks at No. 1, garnered immediate respect, and once again provided a wealth of experience. Together again, Murray has gone 46-3, including six titles – a second Wimbledon and Olympic gold – from seven finals.

Make no mistake, Murray’s game face: the passionate, fist-pumping on-court persona, contrasts greatly to the polite, courteous and in-demand sportsman. Today’s achievement, coupled with brother, Jamie Murray, attaining No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings on 4 April this year, will assure both of their place in tennis history.

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MOST WEEKS AT NO. 2 BEFORE GETTING TO NO. 1 (SINCE 1984)

Player
Weeks No. 2 Before No. 1
Time Between No. 2 & No. 1
Mats Wilander
53
2 years, 4 months
Boris Becker
108
4 years, 4 months
Stefan Edberg
52
3 years, 6 months
Jim Courier
14
3 months
Pete Sampras
15
6 months
Andre Agassi
22
5 months
Thomas Muster
2
2 weeks
Patrick Rafter
23
1 year, 8 months
Yevgeny Kafelnikov
5
2 months
Gustavo Kuerten
6
3 months
Marat Safin
9
2 months
Lleyton Hewitt
2
2 weeks
Juan Carlos Ferrero
6
1 year, 4 months
Roger Federer
15
5 months
Andy Roddick
8
1 month
Rafael Nadal
160
3 years
Novak Djokovic
41
1 year, 5 months
Andy Murray
76
7 years, 6 months

TOTAL WEEKS AT NO. 1 IN EMIRATES ATP RANKINGS (SINCE 1973)

Player Date Reached Age Total Weeks
Andy Murray (GBR) 7 November 2016 29 1
Novak Djokovic (SRB) 4 July 2011 24 223
Rafael Nadal (ESP) 18 August 2008 22 141
Roger Federer (SUI) 2 February 2004 22 302
Andy Roddick (USA) 3 November 2003 21 13
Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP) 8 September 2003 23 8
Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) 19 November 2001 20 80
Gustavo Kuerten (BRA) 4 December 2000 24 43
Marat Safin (RUS) 20 November 2000 20 9
Patrick Rafter (AUS) 26 July 1999 26 1
Yevgeny Kafelnikov (RUS) 3 May 1999 25 6
Carlos Moya (ESP) 15 March 1999 22 2
Marcelo Rios (CHI) 30 March 1998 22 6
Thomas Muster (AUT) 12 February 1996 28 6
Andre Agassi (USA) 10 April 1995 24 101
Pete Sampras (USA) 12 April 1993 21 286
Jim Courier (USA) 10 February 1992 21 58
Boris Becker (GER) 28 January 1991 23 12
Stefan Edberg (SWE) 13 August 1990 24 72
Mats Wilander (SWE) 12 September 1988 24 20
Ivan Lendl (CZE) 28 February 1983 22 270
John McEnroe (USA) 3 March 1980 21 170
Bjorn Borg (SWE) 23 August 1977 21 109
Jimmy Connors (USA) 29 July 1974 21 268
John Newcombe (AUS) 3 June 1974 30 8
Ilie Nastase (ROM) 23 August 1973 27 40