The end is very much in sight for the 2016 ATP season, but for Andy Murray there is still plenty to play for as the Scot looks to become world number one for the very first time.
Novak Djokovic has enjoyed a stranglehold on the #1 spot since July 2014, but with the Serbian nursing an elbow injury heading into the final weeks of the year, Murray is sensing a chance to end his great rival’s tenure at the top.
Starting with this week’s Beijing Open – a tournament Djokovic is absent from – Murray could make up as many as 1,000 points into Djoko’s 4,695 point lead.
And with ATP 1000 tournaments at Shanghai and Paris still to come, there’s every chance the Scot can become Britain’s first world number one since computerised rankings began.
Furthermore, Djokovic is defending more points than Murray, thanks to the Serb’s successful end to last season.
Bagging the top spot in the rankings would be a fitting way to end a sterling season for Murray, who claimed both a second Wimbledon title and a second Olympic gold medal.
The Scot also reached the Australian and French Open finals, and between the Madrid Open in May and the US Open, posted a stunning 41-4 record.
Off court it has also been a year to remember, with Murray and wife Kim Sears welcoming a daughter into the world in February.
For Djokovic meanwhile, things have gone off the boil a tad for the 29-year-old who suffered early exits at Wimbledon and the Olympics, before losing to Stan Wawrinka in the US Open final.
After a gruelling campaign, Murray took some much-needed time-off following his Davis Cup match against Argentina, allowing minor thigh injuries to heal in addition to some vital rest.
The Scot hasn’t been able to practice as much as he would like in the run up to the China Open, but with Djokovic also suffering his own issues, Murray knows this is his best chance yet to be crowned world number one.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing