SIR Chris Hoy last night hailed Andy Murray, who will sit proudly on top of the ATP Tour rankings for the first time this morning, as Scotland's greatest-ever sportsperson.

The six-time Olympic track cycling champion, whose status as Britain's greatest ever Olympian was equalled this year by his fellow cyclist Jason Kenny, was at his self-titled velodrome yesterday for the Track Cycling World Cup in Glasgow, just as Murray racked up his eighth title of a stellar season with a 6-3, 6-7, 6-4 win against John Isner of the USA in the Paris Masters final.

It all means the Scot has overhauled an 8,000 point disadvantage on the relentless Serbian Novak Djokovic in the space of five months to become the first Briton ever to top the rankings since computerised records began in 1973. It only adds to the legend of a figure who Hoy reckons already heads the charts when it comes to the list of all-time sporting achievement.

Read more: Murray's rise to top of rankings merely confirms status as Scotland's greatest ever sportsmanHeraldScotland: Chris Hoy, Pure Gym investor and brand ambassador

"No disrespect to any current or past sportsmen or women in Scotland, but I think he is the greatest," said Hoy. "I am a massive fan of a number of different athletes, in awe of the achievements of so many Scottish sportsmen and women. But I personally think that what he has done, in such a competitive era, in such a high profile sport, while there still is more to come, just from his achievements so far I would say he is our greatest-ever sportsperson."

Speaking to host broadcasters BBC, Hoy - who was present at the All England Club as Murray won his first Wimbledon triumph in 2013 - said that Murray had thoroughly deserved the chance to become World No 1 for the first time. At 29, he is the oldest first-time No 1 since the 30-year-old John Newcombe topped the charts in 1974, and does so seven years after first claiming the second spot. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic have occupied the top position since 2004.

Read more: Murray's rise to top of rankings merely confirms status as Scotland's greatest ever sportsman

"Obviously he has won an Wimbledon and an Olympic medal already this year," said Hoy. "But to reach that No 1 ranking, it is well earned, he has worked so hard to get to this point. There are huge names, legends of the sport, in the same era as him. It is quite incredible, a fantastic achievement."

Murray had to withstand the loss of a second-set tie-break and a few nervy moments to claim his fourth successive tour title, but said he had been besieged by messages of congratulations since being assured of reaching the summit of the rankings with a default semi-final win against Milos Raonic. Federer and Nadal had been in touch, as had his former coach Amelie Mauresmo.

“When you hear from any players, it’s very nice,” Murray said, “because you know you have won their respect. It is the most important thing when you’re done playing. I got a lot of messages last night, more than I’ve had after any match I have played in my life, probably. But the stuff from the family is nicest, because they have been there pretty much from the start. They have seen all the ups and downs and the tough moments you have been through. It means the most when it comes from the family or people you care about the most.”

Having reached world No 1, the next challenge is staying there. The Scot's next trick will be to fend off Djokovic at the ATP Tour finals at the o2 in London, an event where he has never previously reached the final. The Serb will reclaim top position if he wins the event, winning at least two round robin matches. But, having won 56 of his last 60 matches, Murray knows his game is the best it has been all year, and Tim Henman for one doesn't expect him to falter any time soon.

"I don't think Andy was ever going to settle for second best," Henman said in a radio interview. "And now he's reached number one I don't think for any moment of time he's going to take his foot off the gas. If Andy stays fit and healthy, I can see him being the dominant force going forward.

"Playing in the toughest era there has ever been, for him to have three Grand Slams, two Olympic golds and now the world number one, it's an incredible achievement," the Englishman added. "It's testament to his perseverance when you reflect over the last decade and you talk about those players he has been up against. I spoke to him on Saturday and he's so level-headed. He is able to keep a pretty even keel."

Lead coach Jamie Delgado said there had been little exuberance when Raonic had informed them of his intention to withdraw from the semi-final with a quad injury, merely a pregnant pause to take it all in. "We just went for a nice dinner - there was no partying or drinking," said Delgado. "It took time to sink in but it was a strange moment when Raonic came in and told us. We were silent and then there were huge congratulations."