Andy Murray finished the season of his life in perfect fashion with his 24th straight victory to lift the ATP World Tour Finals trophy for the first time and clinch the year-end world number one ranking.
The win over his great rival Novak Djokovic gave the Scot his fifth title in a row - he had never previously won more than three successive tournaments - with the finale at London’s O2 Arena preceded by trophies in Beijing, Shanghai, Vienna and Paris.
By winning two ATP Tour 500 events, two Masters series and the World Tour Finals, Murray amassed 4,500 ranking points, 500 more than he would have earned for claiming two grand slam titles. He also earned 5.3million US dollars (£4.3million), taking his yearly winnings over the 13million dollar mark.
Murray set his previous best winning run of 22 matches over the summer, taking in titles at Queen’s Club, Wimbledon and the Rio Olympics.
He has not lost since a defeat to Juan Martin del Potro in the Davis Cup on September 16, a run of 66 days. By the time he plays his next competitive match at the Qatar Open, which could come on January 4 at the earliest, he will have been unbeaten for at least 110 days.
The first victory of Murray’s latest run came in his second Davis Cup rubber against Argentina’s Guido Pella, although it was not enough to prevent Great Britain falling to defeat in their semi-final.
After a two-week break, he moved on to the China Open in Beijing and then the Shanghai Masters, winning 10 matches without dropping a set.
His run of consecutive sets won ended at 24 when he lost the second set to Slovakia’s Martin Klizan in the opening round of the Erste Bank Open in Vienna but it did not halt his momentum as he went on to claim another title.
By now Murray knew that reaching the final of the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris could be enough to see him overtake Djokovic at the top of the rankings should his rival continue to stumble.
The Scot did not actually have to play to clinch number one, with Milos Raonic pulling out ahead of their semi-final - the second walkover of Murray’s winning run after David Ferrer also withdrew prior to a scheduled last-four clash in Vienna. Murray went on to beat John Isner in three sets in the final to claim his fourth title in five weeks.
While Murray’s run was undoubtedly hugely impressive to that point, it came without him having to face a top-10 player. He beat eight top-20 players and four more in the top 30, while 94th-ranked Andreas Seppi was his lowest-ranked opponent.
But any questions about the calibre of player Murray had to get the better of to reach number one were emphatically answered in London.
The top seed was drawn in a very tough group with then world number three Stan Wawrinka, world number five Kei Nishikori and number seven Marin Cilic. He beat all of them, surviving an epic lasting three hours and 21 minutes against Nishikori - at the time the longest three-set match in the history of the tournament.
He surpassed that four days later in a semi-final clash with Raonic, taking three hours and 38 minutes to defeat the Canadian, saving a match point in the deciding tie-break - the first time in his winning run he had been one point from defeat.
That set up the final against Djokovic, which Murray was a clear second favourite for after spending three hours and 24 minutes longer on court than his opponent during the week, but the Scot dominated the match to win 6-3 6-4.
It was a perfect end to Murray’s run of dominance, with the Scot having beaten the players who finished the season ranked second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth.
His winning run comprised 49 sets won and only six lost, with his most comprehensive victories being a 6-2 6-1 win over Andrey Kuznetsov in the second round in Beijing and a 6-3 6-0 victory against Lucas Pouille in the last 16 in Paris.
Across his 24 victories, Murray has served 137 aces compared to 74 double faults and broken serve 98 times while being broken 35 times himself. Murray, one of the best returners ever to play the game, has broken serve in every match he has played since a semi-final loss to Roger Federer in Cincinnati in August 2015.
One thing Murray and his team may wish to look at as they prepare for 2017 is his tie-break record - of the six sets lost in his winning run, four came in tie-breaks.