PARIS: Andy Murray's win in the Miami Masters has pushed him back up to second in the world rankings ahead of Roger Federer and behind only Novak Djokovic.
The 25-year-old Scotsman, who defeated David Ferrer in the final in Florida, was last in that position in 2009 when Rafael Nadal stood at number one and Federer was third ahead of Djokovic.
The Serb remains comfortably in first position ahead of the claycourt season in Europe when Nadal, who has made a successful return from injury, is expected to once again dominate.
Yesterday's rankings represent the first time since November 10, 2003 that neither Federer nor Nadal has been in the top two. Later an exhaustedMurray credited his mental strength and physical freshness for his tie-break victory after a gruelling two hour, 45 minute battle.
"It was a brutal, brutal match. Both of us were kind of on our last legs," Murray told reporters after his 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 win over errer.
"It was a good job it wasn't a best-of-five-set match, because I don't know how the last few sets would have ended up.
"It was one of the toughest matches I have had to play in a Masters Series, for sure," added the Scotsman.
The match, played at mid-day in South Florida heat and humidity, became a war of attrition with neither player near their peak in terms of shot-making but both doggedly sticking at the task.
ATP top rankings: 1 Novak Djokovic (SRB) 12,370 pts; 2 Andy Murray (GBR) 8,750 (+1); 3 Roger Federer (SUI) 8,670 (-1); 4 David Ferrer (ESP) 7,050 (+1); 5 Rafael Nadal (ESP) 6,385 (-1); 6 Tomas Berdych (CZE) 5,145; 7 Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) 4,750; 8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 3,660; 9 Richard Gasquet (FRA) 3,230 (+1); 10 Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) 3,000 (-1); 11 Marin Cilic (CRO) 2,705; 12 Nicolas Almagro (ESP) 2,435; 13 Gilles Simon (FRA) 2,390; 14 Tommy Haas (GER) 2,260 (+4); 15 Kei Nishikori (JPN) 2,135; 16 Milos Raonic (CAN) 2,095; 17 Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) 1,960; 18 Andreas Seppi (ITA) 1,865 (+1); 19 Juan Monaco (ARG) 1,835 (-5); 20 Sam Querrey (US) 1,825.