Andy Murray spoke of his pride at becoming world number one for the first time in his career, ending Novak Djokovic's 122-week reign at the top of the men's game.
The 29-year-old became the 26th player - and the first Briton - to claim top spot in the rankings in unorthodox circumstances after Milos Raonic withdrew with a leg injury ahead of their scheduled semi-final clash at the Paris Masters.
Murray will now face John Isner in Sunday's final as he seeks to reinforce his new status by claiming a 14th Masters title.
"It feels a little bit strange right now because of the way it has happened today," he said. "Obviously it is unfortunate that Milos has got injured.
"To get to number one isn't about today, but it's about 12 months of tournaments to get to this stage. The last few months have been by far the best of my career and I am very proud to have reached number one.
"At the beginning of my career, I was always trying to win a grand slam, that was something that really motivated me. That's what I felt I was training and preparing to try and do.
"In the last couple of years as I've started to get older and realise that maybe I'll never get to number one, it has been something I wanted to try to do.
"I needed to improve my consistency throughout the year to do that and [in the] last couple of seasons I've done that and especially in the last couple of months.
"So these last few years I've tried hard to get there and obviously I'm very happy to have done it."
Murray, who has won seven titles in 2016, holds a 7-0 record against Isner, with two of those victories coming this year.