Murray takes long road to reel in old rival Djokovic

Sat Nov 5, 2016 10:46am EDT
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - New world number one Andy Murray was born a week before Novak Djokovic and won the pair's first junior tussle on the tennis court.

Since then he has spent his professional career playing catch-up with the Serb who always found a way of staying one step ahead.

On Saturday, in the same City of Light where five months earlier he was powerless to prevent Djokovic completing a career grand slam by winning their French Open final, the Scot finally caught up with his elusive rival.

His semi-final walkover -- after Canadian Milos Raonic pulled out of their Paris Masters semi-final with a leg injury -- means Murray has risen to number one in the world for the first time in his career, ending Djokovic's seemingly unshakeable 122-week grip.

Murray, 29, is the oldest first-time ATP number one since John Newcombe briefly scaled the summit in 1974 and is the 26th player to reach the top since rankings were introduced.

Djokovic, of course, got there first in 2011.

The Serb also boasted five grand slam titles when Murray claimed his first at the 2012 U.S. Open.

And when the Scot led Britain to their first Davis Cup crown in more than 70 years in 2015 it was five years after Djokovic had done the same for his country.   Continued...

Tennis - Paris Masters tennis tournament men's singles quarterfinals - Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic v Andy Murray of Britain - Paris, France - 4/11/2016 - Murray returns the ball. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes