This is how the 2017 ATP Tour turns outOctober 27, 2016
Andy Murray will become the oldest player to reach the top of the ATP ranking, and it will happen before he celebrates his 30th birthday. It's been some time since the #1 spot will be decided during the ATP Finals, and Murray likes his chances.
Novak Djokovic is not playing this week, while Murray is competing in the Erste Bank Open. He would be favoured to recapture the title he won two years ago. And then the top two players (of the ATP Tour) will play in the BNP Paribas Masters. The Briton will dislodge the Serb if he wins in Vienna and Paris. If Djokovic reaches the finals, then Murray will have another chance in the O2 Arena. He has yet to advance to the semifinals, and both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will miss the season-ending championships due to injury. Murray doesn't want to put too much pressure on himself, though.
"I'd have to win pretty much every match between now and the end of the year. And Novak would have to win hardly any," said Murray on his way to the Shanghai Masters title a few weeks ago.
Whether Murray reaches the summit before the end of the season or early next year, he will become the first Briton to do it since Fred Perry during the 1930s. And all that would be left for him is to win more majors. Djokovic, having won more Masters 1000 titles and completing a non-calendar grand slam at Paris, joins a small group of legends in the sport. Rod Laver for completing the calendar grand slam twice. Federer for the most Grand Slam titles. Nadal for the most clay-court titles. Sampras for dominating the field during the 1990s. Will Murray be part of it? It's hard to tell, but it will prove his critics wrong. (They don't think that Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray should be called the Big Four. The top-ranked British player has three major trophies and thirteen Masters 1000 titles in his CV.)
How will the rest of the 2017 ATP Tour turn out? Here it is:
Juan Martin del Potro will become a Grand Slam contender again. The Argentinian defeated Jack Sock in the finals of the Stockholm Open, his first singles title in three years. The win enabled Delpo to break the Top 50, but he wasn't thinking about numbers. He beat Djokovic, Nadal, Murray, and Stan Wawrinka during the last few months. He won't compete in the Paris Open, the final Masters 1000 tournament, as he must rest for next year. He might go far in the Australian Open if he gets better. And no one doubts it.
Dominic Thiem will be the next winner at Roland Garros. The Austrian might have reached the finals of the French Open if not for the rain interruptions. (And Djokovic used his experience to win his first French Open crown.) It had been a long season, which affected his form. But the native of Wiener Neustadt beat Murray in a lucrative exhibition event last weekend. And he would make his debut in London. (Nadal pulled out due to an injury, which would give Tomas Berdych the door.) Thiem will replace Nadal as the King of the Clay Courts, as five of his seven singles titles would come from dirt. Thomas Muster will be proud of him.
Nick Kyrgios will break the Top 10. The mercurial Aussie teenager reached a career-high number 13 despite a suspension. Andre Agassi saw a younger version of him in Kyrgios. Will the Canberran keep his cool next season? Will he win more titles? Stay tuned.
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