Despite being on a downward spiral lately due to injury and low shape, Andy Murray is still the world no. 1 in the ATP rankings and it all depends on how he will manage to survive the challenge. With Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer pushing from behind, the stage will create some interesting moments next. Seeing his run ended at Wimbledon was not easy for Murray. That hip injury while playing against Sam Querrey cast a shadow on his further schedule. But, Wimbledon is already gone in the dust as the ATP circuit is heading to the North American hardcourt season. For Murray, the upcoming weeks will be crucial not necessarily due to the danger of losing the top spot, but for his numbers this season.

Having won only one title ( ATP 500 in Dubai) is way below his level of expectations.

US Open warm-up

While some may argue that he needs an extended break, on Andy Murray's official website the schedule section has him targeting two Masters 1000 events in a row as a warm-up for the last Grand Slam of the year. In less than two weeks, the Rogers Cup in Canada will be held with Murray probably the top seed in men's draw. Last year, Murray skipped this event to focus on the Olympics which was the best decision as he went on winning another gold medal in Rio. From Canada, the next stop would be in Cincinnati. Back in 2016, he was a runner-up of the event losing to Marin Cilic in the final.

If he remains healthy and his level of commitment will increase, the 2017 US Open may see him reaching the higher stages of the tournament.

After all, US Open is the only Major apart from Wimbledon where Andy Murray has succeeded in the past. It's been almost five years since his only triumph at Flushing Meadows.

The last section bears the heaviest burden

The fall will put Andy Murray in front of some difficult moments as it corresponds with his tremendous run of last year.

October was a fruitful period back in 2016 as Murray raced to win four ATP titles in a row. He went on even further winning the ATP Finals in London too. This season, he has to defend those results. Given his lack of success throughout the first part of the season, some may think it's unlikely for Murray to succeed.

So far, his numbers in 2017 are rather low. He has a 25-10 win/ loss ratio which is common to an average player, not a world leader. It'll be interesting to watch whether or not Andy Murray has discovered some new motivational paths deep down inside of him. Once you reached the highest summit, the expectations are totally different, and so far, given his status, Murray failed to deliver.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!