We got the match that everyone wished for at the start of the week. For the first time in the history of the ATP World Tour, the two best men’s Tennis players faced off with the world No.1 ranking on the line. It was Britain’s Andy Murray that came out on top, overcoming Novak Djokovic 6-3 6-4 to win his first season-ending title.

Murray bucks the trend

The Murray and Djokovic careers have been closely intertwined ever since they were juniors. Born just a week apart, Djokovic called their relationship a “bromance” in a pre-match press conference.

The Serb has exerted a degree of dominance over Murray up until recently. Before Sunday’s final, he led their head-to-head 24-10, winning 13 of their past 15 matches since Murray’s 2013 Wimbledon victory.

But Murray reversed the trend on Sunday, in keeping with their recent form. Murray has now won five straight tournaments to surge past Djokovic at the top of the rankings. His rival has meanwhile suffered a dip in form since winning the French Open in June.

In truth, the dream match-up didn’t quite live up to the hype. Murray was almost flawless throughout the encounter, but Djokovic made a number of uncharacteristic errors. It wasn’t until he was 4-1 down in the second set that his level picked up and he earned a first break of serve.

The remainder of the match was close but the damage had already been done.

Briton ups his game at the right time

Despite being ranked No.1 this week, Murray came into the match as second-favourite. He took three hours and 38 minutes to overcome Canadian Milos Raonic in the semi-final. It was a physically and mentally draining encounter.

Murray served for the match twice in the third set before winning an epic tie-break 11-9.

The match against Raonic was the longest in the history of the ATP Finals, beating another Murray match from earlier in the week. He had battled Kei Nishikori for three hours and 20 minutes on Wednesday afternoon.

If Murray showed his grit to make the final, he demonstrated his immense ability and confidence on Sunday.

He dictated the majority of the points with controlled hitting and made very few errors. It was the perfect way to finish his best year on tour.

Djokovic has an off night

Whereas Murray raised his level on Sunday, Djokovic looked a shadow of the player who had steamrollered Nishikori 6-1 6-1 in the semi-final. He had the advantage of having spent three and a half hours less on court this week, but it was the Scot who looked the mentally fresher.

Many are asking what is wrong with Novak Djokovic. He is partly a victim of his own success – he became the first man in 47 years to hold all four major titles when he triumphed at Roland Garros. Having accomplished so much in tennis, it is perhaps a case of having very little left to achieve.

On Sunday, there was little doubt that Murray looked the more motivated player.

The second half of 2016 has hardly been a disaster for Djokovic. He won a Masters title in Toronto and reached the final of the US Open. He remains Murray’s closest challenger and will likely be back to his best when the Australian Open comes around in January. However, his coveted No.1 ranking now belongs to Murray, and he proved on Sunday that he thoroughly deserves it.