LONDON: Andy Murray insists he won’t rest on his laurels after becoming world number one as the Scot looks to crown the best year of his life by cementing his place on top of the world rankings.
Murray ended Novak Djokovic’s reign as the world’s top ranked player last weekend, but he must match or better the Serb’s performance at the ATP Tour Finals to finish the year in pole position.
The 29-year-old has enjoyed an incredible 11 months in which he has won Wimbledon for the second time, claimed a second Olympic singles gold medal and become the first British man to be number one since the inception of the ATP rankings.
Perhaps most significantly, he also became a father in February when his wife Kim gave birth to their daughter Sophia.
After winning the Paris Masters last weekend, Murray’s golden year can reach a fitting climax at London’s O2 Arena next week if he keeps defending Tour Finals champion Djokovic from regaining top spot.
And the Scot is adamant nothing has changed in his mentality now he is the number one, especially with his notoriously demanding coach Ivan Lendl reunited with him this week.
“Ivan congratulated me on getting to number one on the phone, but then he started talking about what we were going to do to prepare for this event,” Murray told reporters in London on Friday.
“When we got here it was back to work on the things we are trying to improve. I like that. It’s good.
“I don’t want to spend time discussing what’s happened in the last few months. I want to keep getting better.
“That’s what I’ve always tried to do. I don’t feel any different.”
After spending so long in the shadow of Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, Murray could have been forgiven for using his rise to number one to herald his right to be regarded as the equal of those legends.
– Big change –
But the Scot, who has losing career head-to-head records against all three of his main rivals, said he felt no different when his ascent was officially confirmed.
“It feels good obviously but I didn’t feel much different when I woke up on Monday morning,” Murray said.
“This year is the best I’ve had on court, the last few months have been the best in terms of my consistency.
“Away from the court it’s been by far the best in my life, a big change and a great change. I’ve really enjoyed being a parent.
“When I step on the court I will have a little more confidence and feel better about myself.”
Murray has never played his best tennis in the Tour Finals, making the semi-finals only three times in his seven appearances and never advancing to the final, but he hopes to make a bigger impact after changing his pre-tournament routine.
“There were a couple of years I wish I could have done a bit better. I’m staying at home for the first time this year, I’ve always stayed in a hotel before,” Murray said.
“The court is bit faster as well. That’s a positive thing.”
While Murray has enjoyed a superb surge since the spring, Djokovic has experienced a rare slump.
But Murray still expects Djokovic to push hard to return to number one because the Serb has been unbeatable at the Tour Finals over the last four years.
“I’ve said I expect Novak to start playing his best tennis again,” Murray said.
“The last couple of months he hasn’t done that, but before that we had seen years of his best tennis.
“There’s not too much to worry about for him. He’s played extremely well here the last few years and I’d imagine he will have a really good tournament.”