Murray, 29, will replace long-time rival Novak Djokovic at the summit when the latest ATP rankings are released next week
Newly-minted world number one Andy Murray admitted rising to the top of the rankings amid a golden era in men's tennis made his achievement even more satisfying.
Murray, 29, will replace long-time rival Novak Djokovic at the summit when the latest ATP rankings are released next week after reaching the final of the Paris Masters on Saturday.
The Scot received a walkover into Sunday's final after Milos Raonic was struck down by a leg injury sustained in his quarter-final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Regardless of Murray's result against American John Isner in the final, he will end Djokovic's reign and become just the fourth different player to top the rankings since 2004.
Murray follows in the footsteps of record 17-time major champion Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic -- all of whom have completed a career Grand Slam -- in ascending to number one.
"I think that's the most satisfying thing, really. It's been such a difficult thing to do during my career because of how good the guys around me have been, the guys ahead of me," said Murray.
"I mean, even this year, the year I have had to have to even be there for one week and be like 20 points ahead or whatever.
"I have had to win so many matches and get to the latter stage of pretty much every tournament that I have played. It's just been -- it's been really, really hard to do it, been really difficult.
"Obviously they are three of the best players that have ever played the game and had some of the years that they have had in that period, as well, have been ridiculous, really, like three slams and double slams and many Masters Series, as well.
"So, you know, it's taken a great year to get there."
Murray suffered an eighth Grand Slam final defeat in 10 attempts when he was beaten in four sets by Djokovic at the French Open in June.
He admitted knocking Djokovic from his pedestal as world number one couldn't have been further from his mind at the time, making Murray's rapid rise all the more incredible.
"It's something I have never achieved before and wasn't something that I necessarily felt like I was going to do even this year, even after the French Open or the beginning of the year.
"I was so far behind in terms of points, and, you know, the amount of matches it would take me to win. I never expected to do what I had done after the French Open, so I was really down after I lost that match."
Despite being second in the rankings, Murray was a staggering 8,000 points behind Djokovic after the 12-time major winner claimed the final Grand Slam missing from his list of honours.
"But things can turn around quick in sport, and it's just a strange sport," added Murray, who will become the 26th different world number one since computerised rankings began in 1973.
"You had Novak losing yesterday to a guy who won 14 times in a row against. And then John beating (Marin) Cilic today who he'd lost six in a row against the following day.
"Stuff can turn around quick, and the last few months have been really good."
Murray has won a career-high 72 matches this year, while a first Paris Masters title would increase his record haul to eight for the season.
The Scot is also riding an 18-match winning streak -- excluding Saturday's walkover -- after title runs in Beijing, Shanghai and Vienna.