Former World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has taken to social media to congratulate Andy Murray on becoming the ATP’s top-ranked singles player, leaving messages for the Scot on both Twitter and Facebook today.
Acknowledging Murray’s performance at the Paris-Bercy Masters, Djokovic described his ascent to the top as both “well-deserved” and “hard-fought”. On multiple occasions, Djokovic reiterated that he was “honoured to play in the same Era” as Murray, acknowledging as he has previously on multiple occasions Murray’s presence as one of his biggest rivals.
Murray and Djokovic, who are first and second seeds respectively at the upcoming ATP World Tour Finals in London, could potentially face off in the finals of the event. While top seed Murray is placed in Group John McEnroe, in a funny coincidence it is Djokovic who is placed in the group named for Murray’s coach, Ivan Lendl.
This could perhaps be Murray’s year at the World Tour Finals, where he has yet to win a title despite having made the finals consistently every single year since 2008. The Scot has yet to progress beyond the semi-finals at the year-ending event, losing each time he has made the semifinals to the eventual runner-up of the event.
Djokovic is the defending champion here, having beaten Roger Federer in the finals for the title, while Murray was unable to progress beyond the round robin stages of the tournament, losing every single match in that stage but one – to Spanish ace David Ferrer.
On current form alone, one could argue the 2016 Tour Finals is Murray’s title to lose. That said, placed in the same group as Marin Cilic and Stan Wawrinka, Murray will not have it as easy as he would have liked. On the other side of the coin, however, Djokovic has been flagging on form lately and suffered a number of shock upsets over the season. Could he also hold on?
Both players have looked to overhaul their careers this year, in contrastingly different ways although both have involved an overhaul to their coaching teams.
The two are the favourites to reach the finals at the World Tour Finals where Djokovic, as the reigning champion, is defending the most points. The tournament is a redeeming opportunity for Djokovic, who, if he can successfully defend his title, will regain the World No. 1 ranking and be the year-end top-ranked player.
The Serb has won the year-end title five years in a row, and should he be able to win a sixth this year, will equal an all-time record for the event.
The ATP World Tour Finals will commence on the 13th of November, 2016 in London, with Group Ivan Lendl’s Novak Djokovic facing off against Dominic Thiem in the first singles match of the tournament.
Djokovic’s post in full: