Aged 30, Andy Murray will always stand up as a first peak when it comes to choosing a genuine athlete who made no compromise throughout his professional career. But, like any other tennis great, he had to find a way to handle the inevitable rollercoaster a pro career must endure.

Displaying some high-quality tennis throughout the season of 2016 (three Grand Slam finals and one title at Wimbledon), he was able to finally surpass Novak Djokovic, the world No. 1 at the time, in order to get his grip on the ATP summit for the first time. As it turned out, the thin air from the top had some unwanted consequences for Murray.

The physical toll alone translated into a certain level of fatigue and lack of sharpness. Instead of imposing his own reign on his terms he had to watch the whole structure going down in a matter of months. An elbow issue first, and then an even more serious hip injury forced him to pull the plug out of the 2017 season with a last-minute withdrawal announcement at the 2017 US Open.

Andy Murray with a high-priced reign as the world No. 1

For Andy Murray, reaching the top of the ATP ranking came with a heavy price attached to it. Not fully fit, he had little impact on men's tennis as its acting ruler. A final at Doha back in January at an ATP 250 event and an ATP 500 triumph two months later in Dubai was barely the kind of success people were expecting from Murray.

Of course, to get the name tagged on the world No. 1's list is a unique achievement, but in this case, it was more like a sum of factors that worked in his way.

With Djokovic struggling at the time and Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal out due to various injuries and issues, all that Andy had to do was to keep his game on a decent level to finally cash in the unexpected chance especially in the last part of 2016.

Choosing to go after so many events in such a short time-frame caught up with him in a classic example of how the boomerang effect works.

There is a silver lining though

The season of 2018 will be an interesting one for many reasons. While Federer and Nadal are both expected to back up their result from this year, others like Djokovic, Andy Murray, Wawrinka or Nishikori will start things over.

In Murray's case, reaching the semis at the French Open and then the last eight phase at Wimbledon will provide him with a certain level of stability, at least in the first four or five months of the year. It's a solid harvest of points without which his ranking plunge would have been dramatic.

Moreover, there are villains in town too. In recent years, Andy Murray had to worry about the other Big Four members only and sometimes Stan Wawrinka. Now, names like Alexander Zverev, Denis Shapovalov or Andrey Rublev are expected to pop up all over the place to set up, even more, traps in what all hope to be a glorious comeback from the former world No. 1.