Swiss tennis ace Stan Wawrinka hailed Andy Murray calling him "special" and stressed that it is tough for him to become the top ranked player in the world. Both Murray and Wawrinka have been drawn in the same group in the ATP World Tour finals, which begins in London on Sunday (13 November).

The 29-year-old created history to become the first British player to take the top ranking, since modern rankings were introduced in 1973. He also became the second oldest player to reach the top spot since John Newcombe, who did it at the age of 30 in 1974.

Novak Djokovic could reclaim the top spot if he goes through the tournament unbeaten, but the Swiss international, who is currently ranked third, was of the view that Murray has earned the right to be hailed as the best player in the world.

"The ranking never lies. He's been winning a lot this year, more than any player, so he deserves to be the No. 1. He did really well with the pressure, he won Wimbledon this year and he won the Olympics in London, so he knows how to deal with it. I'm sure he would love to win the world ATP title here in London," Wawrinka said as quoted by Sky Sports.

"Andy is a special player. He's part of the big four. He's been fighting with the three others to win Grand Slams, it's not like I never expected him to be No 1. You need to be an amazing player, so it's not because he became No 1 that I think he can do it."

Speaking about becoming world number one, Wawrinka said, "I don't think so. Right now I'm 31, I'm number three, in the top four for the last three years, so it's already something really special. I know I can beat every player, I need to do it more often in the year if I want to think about that, but so far I'm way off that."

stan wawrinka
Stan Wawrinka is currently third in the men's ATP tennis rankings getty