Will Andy Murray reign as the best player of 2016 or will Novak Djokovic snatch the mantle back to make it a third straight year ending the season as the No.1? Some interesting details on Murray and Djokovic’s 2016 year and the possible scenarios explained for the ATP World Tour Finals so you know what results will determine the 2016 World No.1.
Andy Murray became the 26th man in ATP Tour history to achieve the Word No.1 ranking on 7 November 2016 after winning the Paris Masters 1000 final the day before to win an ATP World Tour best 8 singles titles this year. The 3-time Grand Slam champion and dual Olympic singles gold medallist added a second Wimbledon title this year, a second gold medal, three ATP Tour Masters 1000 titles (Paris, Shanghai and Rome), Vienna, Beijing and Queen’s Club in London to now hold 43 career titles.
The 29-year-old Murray began the ATP Tour Finals in London with a 405 point lead over Novak Djokovic who had been ranked No.1 for the past 122 weeks and for a total of 223 thus far in his career. Make sure you watch the rest of the matches with an intense battle for the ATP World Tour No.1 adding to the pressure and excitement.
Murray has an effective 130-point lead though due to the fact that the Scot earned 275 points for the 2015 Davis Cup Final and Scotland are not in the final this year, so those 275 points will drop-off from his points total on 28 November this year. Prior to the ATP Finals Murray came in with a 20 match winning streak, whereas Djokovic has posted a 5 wins and 2 losses record in the same time frame.
If you look at the 2016 win-loss record it is strange that Djokovic has a chance to regain the No.1 ranking from Murray seeing Djokovic has a 63-8 record versus Murray’s 75-9 win-loss record. The 12 match wins somehow only add up to 130 ATP ranking points for Murray, so not quite 11 ATP ranking points per win!
The 29-year-old Djokovic has qualified for the ATP Finals semis to be played this Saturday with victories over Milos Raonic 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-5) to go 8-0 in head-to-head matches against the World No.4 and 6-7 (10-12), 6-0, 6-2 against No.9 Dominic Thiem to move to 4-0 head-to-head.
Both Murray and Djokovic have one last round-robin match left to play, Murray against No.3 Stanislas Wawrinka today at 8pm Singapore time and Djokovic against Gael Monfils tomorrow. Each round-robin win earns a player 200 points so at this stage Murray still holds a 130-point lead in the battle for the year-end No.1 ranking.
Murray has yet to qualify for the ATP Finals semis due to the results of the other matches in his group. Murray won their only meeting this year 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 in the Roland Garros semis and will be looking to reverse the result in their only meeting in 2015 which, was also in the round robin of the ATP Tour Finals. In his first round robin match Murray defeated No.7 Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-2 whom defeated Djokovic in straight sets at the recent Paris Masters 1000 after having lost all 14 previous matches to Novak before that.
Murray in typical fashion won 6-7 (9-11), 6-4, 6-4 against No.5 Kei Nishikori in the longest 3-set match in ATP Finals since records of match length time began for this tournament. Now the scene is set, if Murray and Djokovic go head-to-head in the semis the winner will take the No.1 ranking. If they end up in different semi final matches, then the player who progresses further in this event becomes No.1.
If both Murray and Djokovic are defeated in the semis then Murray will retain the No.1 ranking unless Djokovic defeats Monfils tomorrow for a 3-0 round robin record and Murray loses to Wawrinka today to end with a 2-1 round robin record.
Murray will retain his No.1 ranking even if he doesn’t qualify for the semis provided Djokovic doesn’t defeat Monfils or does not reach the final even if he defeats Monfils. A semis win at the ATP Finals earns 400 points and winning the title awards another 500 points on top of that.