herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Murray wants rivals to be in good form

Andy Murray
Andy Murray

Andy Murray is hoping all his big rivals will offer him competition for the number one ranking in 2017.

The Scot overcame a deficit of more than 8,000 points following his defeat by Novak Djokovic in the French Open final in June to overhaul the Serbian ahead of the ATP World Tour Finals in London.

By triumphing in the winner-takes-all showdown with Djokovic in the final at London's O2 Arena, Murray ensured he will take a 630-point lead at the head of the standings into 2017. Critics will point to the decline of the other 'big four' members for allowing Murray finally to come out from their shadow.

Djokovic has won only one title since that famous day at Roland Garros when he became the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four grand slam trophies.

Roger Federer, 35, and Rafael Nadal, 30, have both been beset by injuries in 2016, the former for the first time in his career. Murray hopes they can recapture some past glories.

The 29-year-old said: "This year I think has been hard in some ways because of Roger and Rafa missing large parts of the year.

"I think tennis is in a good place just now. It would be better if the two of them were fit."

Djokovic was reluctant to look ahead following his defeat in London. "Right now the goal is just to rest a little bit," said Djokovic."

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