After all the battles and hard graft chasing the world number one spot, Briton Andy Murray arrived there without hitting a ball on Saturday as Milos Raonic pulled out of their Paris Masters semi-final with a leg injury.
The triple grand slam winner, who will take over from Serb Novak Djokovic at the top when the rankings are updated on Monday, still went out on centre court for a practice session in front of a bemused crowd.
“I think at the beginning of my career you know I was always trying to win a grand slam,” said Murray off court. “That was something that really really motivated me and that’s what I felt I was training and preparing to try to do. But in the last couple of years as I started to get older and realised maybe I will never get to number one, it was something I wanted to try to do and I needed to try to improve my consistency throughout the year to do that, and you know the past couple of seasons I have done that and especially the last couple of months, so you know the last couple of years I have worked hard to try and get there and obviously very happy to have done it.”
Fourth-seeded Canadian Raonic told reporters he felt the injury during his match with Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, subsequently confirmed in an MRI scan.
Murray, who was guaranteed to climb from second to first in the rankings if he reached the final, is the first Briton to get to number one.
At 29 years and 174 days, he will be the oldest player to reach the summit for the first time since John Newcombe in 1974.
Djokovic, the number one since July 2014, was knocked out in the quarter-finals by ninth seed Marin Cilic on Friday.
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