World number one Novak Djokovic secured his 10th title of the year with an emphatic victory over Britain’s Andy Murray at the Paris Masters final.
The 6-2 6-4 win, achieved in just over 90 minutes, also ensured the Serb claimed a record fourth title in Paris.
He is the first player to win six ATP Masters series events in the same year.
Murray, 28, made too many unforced errors against an in-form Djokovic, who has now beaten him in six of their seven encounters this year.
The British number one competed better than he did in Shanghai in October against the 28-year-old – when he was on the end of a 6-1 6-3 rout in the semi-finals – but he was still unable to break the hold the Serb seemingly has over him.
“It’s progress,” said Murray of reaching his first Paris Masters final. “We’ll try next year to go one better.
“Congratulations to Novak for another fantastic week. He fully deserves the number one spot. Hopefully I can get a bit closer next year.”
Can anyone topple Djokovic?
Djokovic, this year’s Australia, Wimbledon and US Open champion, was guaranteed to finish the year as the world number one for the fourth time in five years, regardless of the outcome of this match.
Enjoying one of the most successful years in tennis history, Djokovic had already become the first player to reach 14 consecutive Tour finals in a calendar year and only Ivan Lendl has a better record with 18 finals over two calendar years.
Victory over Murray – his 10th win over the Scot in their last 11 matches – has extended Djokovic’s winning run overall to 22 matches.
And the Serb, who has not lost since the Cincinnati final in August, will be the overwhelming favourite to win the ATP World Tour Finals in London later this month.
Djokovic, who has lost only five matches this year, dominated the first set, breaking in the third and seventh games, to confidently go a set up within 42 minutes.
World number two Murray, who made 19 unforced errors in the opening set, had not progressed beyond the last eight in Paris prior to this year.
But he offered stiffer resistance in the second set, despite Djokovic breaking in the third game.
The Scot broke back to love to level at 2-2, but the world number one punished Murray’s dip in intensity in the seventh game to secure the critical break.
Murray, though, had made it clear before this tournament that his priority for the rest of the year is the Davis Cup final against Belgium in Ghent at the end of November, when Britain will attempt to win the trophy for the first time since 1936.
“It was a tough match and I wish Andy all the best for the rest of the season, both in London and the Davis Cup final. I know you want to to do well,” said Djokovic to his rival.