Andy Murray revealed he never thought he would be able to become the number one-ranked tennis player in an era that has been dominated by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
The Brit will replace Djokovic at the top of the ATP rankings, which will be updated on Monday, after his Paris Masters semi-final opponent Milos Raonic pulled out of the tournament with a thigh injury. Murray will take on John Isner in the final on Sunday and a win will help him consolidate his position.
It took a "great year" for Murray to get to the top spot especially after Djokovic's performances early in the season. The Serb won the Australian Open and the French Open and never looked like conceding the top spot, which he held for 223 continuous weeks.
However, Murray buckled up and won his first grand slam of 2016 at the Wimbledon. He went on defend his Men's singles gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Also he won at Shanghai Masters, Beijing and Vienna in the year, in which he achieved a personal record of 73 wins.
After becoming the second oldest in the history of the game to debut at the top spot, the 29-year-old said it was difficult to "keep believing" in the era of "ridiculous" domination by the big three.
"It is something I never expected to do, never thought I was going to do. When you are behind the guys that I was behind, it is difficult to keep believing, keep working to try to get there," Murray was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.
"I think that's the most satisfying thing, because of how good the guys around me have been. Obviously they are three of the best players that have ever played the game and some of the years that they have had in that period have been ridiculous.
"I have had to win so many matches, and get to the latter stage of pretty much every tournament, just to be like 20 points ahead."
Murray also said that he was thinking about getting to the landmark spot on the court but that he was not able to react when Raonic walked up to his locker room and revealed about his injury.
"Normally if you're told someone has pulled out, you immediately start thinking about the next day and what you're going to do. I didn't really react," the Brit added.
"But my team gave me a hug and said, 'Well done, deserved, we know how hard you've worked to get here,' and stuff. It was quite strange how it happened, unfortunately."