Andy Murray stands astride the sport of tennis as the world number one – the first British player to wear the crown.
The ranking is indisputable.
Bestowed by a computer, the accolade is the result of number-crunching not flawed human judgement or luck.
Only 26 players have held the title since a computer started calculating the rankings in 1973.
Murray has taken the mantle for showing consistency at the highest level over the past year.
He has delivered the goods that so many British players before him have failed to do.
Remarkable year of victories
In a remarkable year he won Wimbledon for the second time in his career, defended his Olympic singles title and led the British Davis Cup team to victory for the first time since 1936.
In between, Murray also sparkled on the Association of Tennis Professionals circuit and at other grand slams.
Being number one is a hard-won honour that is not received by choice, but by showing skill, grit and determination against the odds.
Some former greats have remarked how being world number one impacted on their game and their lives.
For Andre Agassi, the position came with tinged with sadness over losing a life to his father’s ambition.
Only way is down
John McEnroe sat atop the world for a total of 170 weeks and explained how tough it is to be alone at the top.
“You’re out there on your own island,” he once said. “And you feel like you’re disengaged, not only with the rest of the world, but the rest of your competitors, some of them friends,” he said.
They and others spoke about the true dread of champions – reaching number one is the start of a fall from grace because the only certainty is one day you will not be at the top any longer.
Murray has had his doubts and demons. Probably his own fiercest critic, he hired aging star Ivan Lendl to toughen him up mentally. The collaboration has coincided with consistency and a bite to Murray’s game that was never there before.
And what does Murray put his success down to? Becoming a father, which he claims has made him calmer in adversity.