Andy Murray's long road to becoming world No1


Andy Murray is the new world number one for the first time after Milos Raonic withdrew from their semi-final at the Paris Masters, realising what is arguably the Scot's greatest achievement in his professional career to date.

From his first major title at the 2004 US Open Junior tournament, to his most recent grand slam win at this year's Wimbledon, Murray has often battled in the shadows of his opponents since his switch to adult competitions in 2005 - unable to overtake the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, or the indomitable Novak Djokovic.

With a year of extraordinary form in 2016, we take a look back at Murray's long-fought path to being the greatest tennis player on earth.

First ATP Tour Final - September 2005

Murray makes a backhand return against the then world No1, Roger Federer (APICHART WEERAWONG AP/PA)

Murray's first jaunt in a tournament final measured by the ATP world ranking system came at the Thailand Open in 2005.

The British contender ultimately lost in straight sets to the then-world number one Federer, who became one of a small band of players who would repeatedly frustrate the Scot's efforts in later years.

Maiden ATP Tour title - February 2006

Murray is congratulated by Andy Roddick at the 2006 SAP Open in San Jose (ONY AVELAR AP/PA)

Victories over Andy Roddick and then Lleyton Hewitt in San Jose's SAP Open produced Murray's first ATP title and a place in the world top 50.

Murray beat Australia's Hewitt in the final after losing the first set 2-6, before going on to win the remaining sets 6-1, 7-6 (7-3).

Top-10 debut - April 2007

(Elise Amendola AP/PA)
Murray returns the ball against Nicolas Mahut at the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells (Elise Amendola AP/PA)

Murray broke into the top 10 for the first time after reaching the semi-finals of Masters events in Indian Wells and Miami in 2007.

He had previously reached the fourth round of the Australian Open, losing to world number two Rafael Nadal, who went on to lose in the quarter finals.

First Wimbledon final - July 2012

(Adam Davy/PA)
An emotional Murray ends his 2012 Wimbledon campaign after losing to Roger Federer in the final (Adam Davy/PA)

Murray ended a 74-year wait for a British men's singles Wimbledon finalist but was unable to triumph against a dominant Federer, who won the match in four sets.

He was the first British player to reach a Wimbledon final since Bunny Austin in 1938.

Olympic gold - August 2012

(Rebecca Naden/PA)
Murray became the first British man to win an Olympic singles title since Josiah Ritchie in 1908 (Rebecca Naden/PA)

Still suffering the pangs of his recent loss at Wimbledon, Murray bounced back with a 6-2 6-1 6-4 victory against Federer at the same stadium in the Olympic final before partnering Laura Robson to silver in the mixed doubles.

Murray became the first British man since Josiah Ritchie in 1908 to win an Olympic singles title.

First Grand Slam title, US Open - September 2012

(Darron Cummings AP/PA)
Murray holds his first grand slam trophy at the 2012 US Open (Darron Cummings AP/PA)

Buoyed by Olympic success, Murray reached the final of the US Open. From two sets up against Novak Djokovic, the British number one found himself battling against Djokovic's unbelievable determination when he lost his lead, but eventually triumphed in five.

After four hours 54 minutes, Murray was the first British man to win a Grand Slam title since the great Fred Perry in 1936.

First Wimbledon success - July 2013

(Adam Davy/PA)
Murray falls to his knees after winning his first Wimbledon title against Novak Djokovic (Adam Davy/PA)

Despite a nerve-shredding last game, Murray eventually prevailed against his old rival Novak Djokovic to clinch a straight-sets win, 6-4 7-5 6-4 over the world number one.

Murray had finally shattered Fred Perry's 77-year reign as the last home men's singles champion.

Davis Cup heroics - November 2015

(Alastair Grant AP/PA)
The most unlikely of victories (Alastair Grant AP/PA)

Of all Murray's successes, guiding Britain to the Davis Cup title was perhaps his most unlikely.

The Scot won 11 of Britain's 12 points, including three in doubles with brother Jamie, with whom he led Great Britain to a four-set victory over Belgium's Steve Darcis and David Goffin before going on to beat Goffin in the reverse singles.

It was Britain's first Davis Cup victory since 1936.

Second Wimbledon title - July 2016

(Kirsty Wigglesworth AP/PA)
A jubilant Murray takes his third grand slam title in July (Kirsty Wigglesworth AP/PA)

After Djokovic went out in a shock third-round defeat to the American Sam Querrey, Murray challenged first-time slam finalist Milos Raonic for the ultimate slam trophy and went on to triumph 6-4 7-6 (7/3) 7-6 (7/2).

It was Murray's 38th professional career title, and his third of the season.

Olympic gold again - August 2016

(Vadim Ghirda AP/PA)
Reaching his way into the history books - Murry is the first singles champion to retain an Olympic gold (Vadim Ghirda AP/PA)

As part of a career-best run of 22 straight victories, Murray became the first tennis player to retain an Olympic singles title with a gruelling victory over Juan Martin del Potro in the Rio 2016 Olympic games.

Murray became one of the key British success stories of the games, which surpassed all expectations and became Great Britain's most successful summer Olympic games ever.

World number one - November 2016

Andy Murray
(Adam Davy/PA)

With an outstanding career run in 2016, Murray is now the second oldest player to become number one, following Australia's John Newcombe in 1974.

The Scot needed to make the final of the Paribas Masters in Paris in order to topple Novak Djokovic as the world's best and was due to face Milos Raonic on Saturday afternoon.

But his job was done for him as the Canadian withdrew from their clash with injury, giving the Wimbledon champion a walkover.

Murray has also spent the longest time as the world's number two before going on to reach the top spot, but however long it's taken him, he's finally realised what many have suspected him of being for quite some time: the best tennis player in the world right now.