Andy Murray said he never expected to end 2016 as the leading player in men's tennis, after producing a masterful performance to defeat Novak Djokovic and claim ATP World Tour Finals glory.
An emphatic 6-3 6-4 victory at the O2 Arena not only saw Murray win the season-ending tournament for the first time, but ensured the Briton will retain the number-one ranking he claimed from Djokovic in Paris a fortnight ago.
Djokovic held a 24-10 lead in meetings between the two prior to Sunday's match and was looking to win in London for the fifth year in succession.
However, he was ultimately well beaten on this occasion as Murray extended his remarkable winning streak to 24 matches, wrapping up a fifth consecutive title in the process.
"It's obviously a very special day," said Murray during the on-court presentation.
"Playing against Novak in a match like this, we've played grand slam finals, Olympics ... it's been a tough rivalry, I've lost many of them.
"I'm obviously happy I managed to get the win today and to finish the year number one is very special - it's something I never expected."
When Djokovic beat Murray in their previous meeting at Roland Garros in June, the Serbian held all four grand slam titles and appeared untouchable at the summit of the game.
A gracious Murray added: "Congratulations to Novak on everything he's achieved this year. When I lost in the French Open final, I spoke a bit about it at the time, but to hold all four grand slams at once like he did earlier this year is an incredible acheivement, very special and something I don't think we'll see for a long time in the sport."