Andy Murray, who announced recently that he would play in the 2017 US Open, is no longer the World No. 1 player. His stay at the top was for a total of 41 weeks, and that certainly is not too shabby of a total at all. Even if he does not return to the Top Spot in the future, the World No. 1 ranking will always be a part of Scot's legacy. Furthermore, that he enjoyed a reasonably lengthy tenure separates him from a lot of retired great players.

Murray wasn't a short-term No. 1

The time Murray spent on top of the world basically puts him on par with Brazilian great Gustavo Kuerten.

He lasted a total of 43 weeks as the No. 1 player, two more than Murray's current total. But importantly, Murray's time as the World No. 1 separates him from several other players who had lesser stints. Murray isn't like Boris Becker, Andy Roddick, Marat Safin, Juan Carlos Ferrero, and other flash-in-the-pan number ones. Murray held the top spot for a substantial period and will not be forgettable for that reason.

Murray, with the No. 1 ranking in his history, has a credential that proves that he is a man for the 52-week long battle of attrition that the World No. 1 players win. That's what No. 1 means more than anything in ATP tennis. While a player like Stan Wawrinka, Marin Cilic, or Juan Martin del Potro might be able to win any tournament, consistently winning week after week is a far different matter.

Murray charged into the World No. 1 last season when Novak Djokovic started to slip up. The Scot proved that he was a man that could put major mileage on his shoes in a short time frame with titles in Shanghai, London, Paris, Vienna, and Beijing. Winning all those matches in that short of a time frame is something that Cilic, Wawrinka, and del Potro simply aren't capable of doing.

Murray's future success irrelevant now

What the future will bring isn't clear for Andy Murray, but those that want to visit that topic are missing the point. Murray has a career credential that he will never lose. When the Scot retires from tennis at some point in the future most would put him on the short list of great players from his era and the long list of great players of the open era.

However with, at least, 41 weeks on top of the world and three Grand Slam titles he won't be put on the really-long list like a lot of other players that either couldn't get to the top or couldn't hold the top spot for that long. Murray's career credentials look all the much better now that he added a stay on top of the rankings that puts him 14th all-time regarding cumulative weeks.