Over the last decade or so, an ambitious hard-working Briton has been standing in the front line of defense. In an era where names like Federer, Nadal or Djokovic were there to capture all the glory, Andy Murray and perhaps Stan Wawrinka stood as the only players with a solid chance to prevent a dictatorship from happening.

A great deal of consistency in the first part of 2016 put Andy Murray in pole position for the second part of the season. Basically, he squeezed out all the benefits to finally secure that elusive world No.1 seat he had been after for years.

As in any glorious story, sometimes unwanted parts occur to spoil the party.

A bad timing for low shape and the ugly cast an injury creates

Earlier this year, Andy Murray started what could have been his own glorious reign over the ATP professional circuit. An inconclusive result in Doha where he lost to Djokovic in the final and then an unexpected defeat at the Australian Open threw him of the predicted path. The low shape kept giving him a hard time while a minor elbow injury hampered his plans during the spring session on hard courts.

In a typical own style, Andy Murray had a deep run at Roland Garros where he made it to the semis before losing to Stan Wawrinka. That gave him a positive perspective for the upcoming grass court season.

As a defending champion at Wimbledon, he made it into the second week but a hip issue turned out to be a serious injury that would end his bid on grass. Without an official match since July, Murray had a comeback party earlier this week. He took on Roger Federer for an exhibition event in Glasgow. Watching the Andy Murray Live event one conclusion deserves attention; he is not fully recovered yet as he seemed quite far from his usual tennis output.

Andy Murray received another gift

Things aren't all bad as Andy Murray became a father for the second time after his wife Kim gave birth to a child. That's perhaps the equilibrium recipe universe has in mind.

The former world No. 1 will end the year outside the top 10. Ranked 16th in the general ranking, he will have to start from the very bottom next year in January.

His first bid in 2018 is set to take place in Brisbane weeks before the 2018 Australian Open. Coincidence or not, the 16th place as a year's end ranking is where Roger Federer found himself at the end of 2016. And we all know how that turned out for the Swiss player.

Given the circumstances of that hip injury and the general climate of the ATP circuit, Andy Murray probably saw the second part of 2017 as one of the biggest challenges of his professional career.