Last year, at about this moment in the year, Andy Murray was soaring up the rankings to eventually bring Novak Djokovic's reign down. Twelve months later, they are both gone with various injuries and issues while last year's absentees Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are up for duty feeling up all the blank spaces. it's extraordinary how things have turned in a matter of months, giving one more clue about the difficulties a tennis player must navigate through while trying to reach the summit, then to find a way to keep it and finally to handle the moment of inevitable decay.

For Andy Murray, it's fair to say that he is somewhere in between the stage three (decay) and the reset moment. That hip injury prematurely ended a season and a reign that lacked the shiny feature.

What Andy Murray's return may bring

Aiming to make his comeback in January 2018, Andy Murray has opened the door for a flurry of debates. Apparently, he and Djokovic are both following the same recipe that meant the world for Roger Federer who came back after a six-month hiatus to steal the show once more. With Shanghai title on his pocket earlier today, it seems that Roger Federer's comeback aimed for a longer run than expected. At 36 years of age, he is still in the upper drawer of relevant names for men's tennis.

A long and complete recovery to overcome a physical injury is the first and most important factor that must be taken care of but it also gives no guarantee of a bright future. And it's not about the rust that will accumulate or lacking the competitiveness. For most top players, it's about keeping the aim for the bull's eye and not getting comfortable with some mid-level objectives.

Self-victimisation on a subconscious level will have great implications for the future. Although it provides a player with a specific comfort zone based on his latest injury it will also prevent him from peaking again. That's the biggest trap a top-player will have to fight against each day, self-sufficiency is not a feature of tennis' great names.

Andy Murray will have to handle a new type of pressure

Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic will have to face this test soon as they are both expected to resume playing somewhere in January 2018. Thus, the first Grand Slam of next year will be testing sight of these two great athletes.

The former world No. 1 Andy Murray may have some unfinished business left after a short and unconvincing reign at the ATP summit. The expectations revolving around his return will be huge and while there is a good chance for him to succeed, his fans should consider the other way too. Top tennis players are living on the edge where the margins are thin and the room for errors is being measured in inches, at best.