A hip injury put Andy Murray on the sideline during the 2017 Wimbledon Championships. The defending champion at that time, the injury did nothing but amplify the struggles he had to endure during the first few months of the season that is about to end. A failed attempt to resume competing earlier this year, prior to US Open, put more salt on the wounds. Eventually, he decided to call it a season, aiming for a strong appearance in January 2018. The former world No. 1 will see his name dropping outside the top 10 on Monday (Nov. 6). A similar fate awaits Novak Djokovic too, as the Serb is set to be kicked outside the top 10 for the first time in more than a decade.

A first showdown is in sight amid a huge level of expectations

Andy Murray will have to find his way out of the sinkhole in what has the chance to be one of the most thrilling seasons in years. The season of 2018 will feature several players who would put everything at stake to make it back. Thus, Murray, along with Djokovic and Wawrinka, will lead a season of comebacks with Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic also as potential contenders. Add to this the fact that Federer and Nadal once again could be the rulers of the game, and you'd have a highly competitive area on the horizon.

Andy Murray will see pressure mounting all around right from the start. The 2018 Australian Open stands as the place where his decay started.

After that, Mischa Zverev stunned Murray in that fourth-round match on Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne Park. Losing that match threw Murray off the regular path as he barely found his way back. An ATP 500 title in Dubai and the semis at Roland Garros stand as the thin consolation prize of a terrible season.

Andy Murray to put some grease on those rusty wheels

Tuesday, November 7, Andy Murray will face Roger Federer in Glasgow, Scotland in what is expected to be a very attractive exhibition match of tennis. Earlier this year, these two did a similar event, only that was in Basel, Federer's hometown. Promoted as Andy Murray Live, the upcoming event will stand as Murray's first on-court appearance since Wimbledon.

It might be the right place and time to get a serious training session and what better sparring could he have hoped for? Roger Federer will be standing at the other end eager to put up a solid tennis fiesta.

Andy Murray, 30, will probably come back stronger in 2018 and will reclaim his top spot. All that he needs is a healthy body and a rested mind. These two critical elements will make a difference during the week-to-week struggle in the ATP World Tour.