Andy Murray remained ranked No. 1 in the ATP's world tennis rankings on Monday. That was despite failing to defend his Wimbledon title and losing over 1600 ranking points as a result. He has been ranked No. 1 since late in 2016, but his current stay on top of the world appears in jeopardy in the months ahead.

Looking back at Murray's late 2016

Murray didn't play in the Canadian Masters last season. That's some of the only good news for the balance of the season. If he does well in Montreal this year, then, he will actually gain some ranking points.

However, he has nearly 1000 points to lose at Cincinnati and the US Open. Given that both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have a lot to gain at those events, Murray is in big trouble of losing top spot before the end of summer.

But a closer look at Murray shows that it's not just the top ranking that is at stake for the balance of the season. Murray has the following titles to defend from now until the start of 2018:

  • Paris Masters (1000 points)
  • Shanghai Masters (1000 points)
  • ATP Vienna (500 points)
  • ATP Beijing (500 points)
  • ATP World Tour Finals (1500 points)

With those five titles combined, Murray has 4500 ranking points to defend. Those points do not include points for results in tournaments where he did not win a title.

Murray to finish outside of top 10?

Projecting where Murray is going to finish at the end of the year requires speculation on how well he is going to play. He definitely has the ability to turn things on, however, good form isn't as simple as flicking on a light switch. Furthermore, Murray has played through well-known problems with his hip of late.

If his form from the first half of the season is to be taken to have insight into how his season will go from here on out, Murray projects to a finish outside of the top five on tour.

However, it is possible that Murray might even finish outside of the top ten on tour this season. Nothing hurts a player's ranking worse than missing time on tour.

Given Murray's injury situation, you have to wonder at what point he shuts things down and sits out long term. If he does take a break, then he promises to come back as strong as ever. We've seen both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer take breaks from tennis and then come back in tip-top form. However, in the mean time ranking points would slip away for Murray as draw sheets get played out without his name on them. Don't be surprised to see Murray outside of the top five at year's end. If he's outside of the top ten, then it might be a blessing in disguise for his 2018 season.