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Murray Making Major Strides For No. 1

Melbourne, Australia

Murray© Getty ImagesMurray is seeking his second straight major title.

World No. 3 Andy Murray can supercharge his chances of becoming the first British man to hold the No. 1 Emirates ATP Ranking should he win Sunday’s Australian Open final against Novak Djokovic.

As the reigning US Open and Olympic champion, and the 2012 Wimbledon finalist, Murray will have a mountain of points counting towards his ranking between now and the start of the grass court season if he can win a second consecutive Grand Slam title. During the same period, Djokovic and Federer will see more than 4000 points drop from their rankings, while Murray will lose just 1,620.

Should Murray dethrone two-time reigning titlist Djokovic in Sunday’s final, he will trail the Serb by 2,840 points and Federer by 985 points. (For reference, a player earns 2000 points for winning a Grand Slam title and 1000 points for winning an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title. Points count towards a player’s ranking for 52 weeks before ‘dropping’. Rankings FAQ)

The rivalry between Murray and Djokovic, born just a week apart, blossomed in 2012. They squared off seven times, with Djokovic tipping the scale with four wins. But Murray defeated Djokovic in the semi-finals of the London 2012 Olympics and went on to edge the Serb in five sets to claim his first major title at the US Open. As he takes the court in a Grand Slam final for the first time as a major champion, the Scot will be drawing on his triumph over Djokovic at Flushing Meadows.

“The task isn't any easier. I'm obviously playing Novak again on this court,” said Murray. “This has been his best court for sure. So I'm aware of how tough it will be to win the match and what have you.

“But hopefully there are moments in the US Open final where I could have closed out sets a bit quicker. I think the tie-break was a good example of how nerves can work in those sort of matches. It was not the prettiest tennis, so hopefully I'll play a little bit better.”

Video courtesy Tennis Australia. Visit the official tournament website

The last four clash between Murray and Djokovic a year ago in Melbourne was regarded as one of the matches of the season. Though Djokovic prevailed 7-5 in the fifth set, Murray approached the loss with a positive outlook.

“I think I started to play better tennis and played my optimum level more in the big matches over the last year or so, which hadn't always been the case,” Murray said. “So I think that's kind of what's changed for me. Two years ago, [Djokovic] didn't lose a match for the first six months.  It's tough to know whether you can actually improve from that.

“But he's still playing well. He's No. 1 in the world. He was in the US Open final, [Roland Garros] final, Wimbledon semis, and he's in the final here. So he's playing extremely well.” 

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