LONDON (AP): Without a doubt, Andy Murray will be the No. 1 player in the world for the rest of the year. The Wimbledon champion needed to win the final match of the season to ensure his place at the top. And he did it, rather easily. Murray beat Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-4 yesterday to earn his first title at the ATP finals, and make sure he remained No. 1 until next season. “I would like to try and stay there, obviously. It’s taken a huge effort the last five, six months to get there,” said Murray, who took over the top ranking two weeks ago and has now won 24 straight matches. “I’m aware that’s going to be extremely difficult because I had a great year this year. I only managed to do it by one match.” Murray replaced Djokovic as the top-ranked player in Paris, but the second-ranked Serb could have regained the No. 1 position by winning yesterday at the O2 Arena. And Murray seemed vulnerable heading into the final, especially after playing three sets against Milos Raonic in Saturday’s semi-finals. He started against Djokovic with a pair of double-faults in the opening game, but it was soon his opponent that was struggling with his serve as the unforced errors piled up. “There was no serious chance for me to win today’s match,” Djokovic said. “From the very beginning, we could see that. He was just a better player all in all.” Normally so steady with his groundstrokes, Djokovic found himself missing easy shots time after time, finishing the match with a whopping 30 unforced errors and only 13 winners. Murray had 15 unforced errors and 13 winners. In the first set, Djokovic had a routine smash that he whacked wide. And in the second, he netted a basic forehand volley. It never got much better for the 12-time Grand Slam champion, who was trying to win a record-tying sixth title at the season-ending tournament and finish the year as the top-ranked player for the fifth time. TOP SPOT Murray is the first man other than Djokovic, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal to finish the year as the No. 1-ranked player since Andy Roddick in 2003. He took over the top spot on November 7 after winning his eighth title of the season at the Paris Masters. He also reached the Australian Open and French Open finals, losing to Djokovic on both occasions, but won his second straight Olympic gold medal in singles at the Rio de Janeiro Games after claiming his second Wimbledon title. Yesterday, he capped a long stretch of playing some of the best tennis of his life, and the best tennis in the world.
“I appreciate Josh trying to come back and trying to help his team,” Howland said. “We’re off to a great start and Josh tried to do everything he could to help his team. For the next 2 1/2 months, Josh will do nothing but rest and rehab and will be constantly evaluated by our team physician and Dr. Guanche.” UCLA (13-2, 3-1) plays Washington State at home on Thursday, and entertains No. 13 Washington on Saturday. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita “It was just real sore and painful in those two games. I tried to go again last weekend and I just decided I couldn’t do it the whole year, there was just too much pain.” Shipp started 23 of UCLA’s last 24 games as a freshman last season, when he averaged 9.3 points and 5.2 rebounds. “At this point, his pain levels are just unacceptable, just way too much to handle,” UCLA coach Ben Howland said. “He has constant throbbing during every practice and every game, he’s very sore every day, and the next morning he’s obviously very stiff. And it’s not getting better. “That’s the main thing, that’s the concern. He has made this decision, through consultation with the physician that did the surgery, his mother and his family, our staff and our trainer. The bottom line is his long-term health.” The university said once the season is over, it will petition the NCAA for a medical hardship waiver, hoping to get Shipp another year of eligibility. UCLA starting forward Josh Shipp will be sidelined for the rest of the season because of increasing pain and discomfort in his right hip. The 6-foot-5 sophomore had an outpatient arthroscopic right hip procedure performed by Dr. Carlos A. Guanche on Sept. 28 at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute. The procedure repaired a torn labrum and included the removal of a bone spur. After missing the first 11 games of the season, Shipp started the 11th-ranked Bruins’ first four Pac-10 games and averaged 11.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 29.8 minutes. “It’s been something that’s been lingering in my mind for a while,” Shipp said in a statement issued by the school Tuesday. “For the Stanford and Cal games, I really didn’t feel comfortable, but I wanted to go out there and try and help the team get a win.