Image: Garrett Ellwood/USTA

Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic both made their way into the second week at The Flushing Meadows. One had to dig deep and the other was pretty much handed a spot in the R16. Novak Djokovic received a walkover in second round, which was followed by a third round retirement of his opponent to guarantee the Serb a fourth round appearance on Sunday at the Arthur Ashe stadium. And the second week at the Open could very well decide whether Andy Murray topples Novak Djokovic for the number one spot of the ATP rankings this year.

After brushing off his defeats in the opening two majors at the hands of Djokovic, Murray stormed his way to the title at AELTC, although he didn’t face his nemesis in slam finals- Djokovic, thanks to an American named Sam Querry. But even if he had, there was little that The Scot was doing wrong during that fortnight and he probably would’ve won it anyway. Murray has been constantly chasing Novak and Federer for the past year and a half. His short stint with Amelie Mauresmo didn’t reward him with a major and it was time to bring back a more calmer spirit in the player’s box- Ivan Lendl. Murray has always been considered an unpolished version of Djokovic but with Lendl in his corner, he’s closing in on that mental toughness that separates these two modern greats.

Novak has been struggling with a wrist issue following his opening round exit at the Olympics, while Andy has hit red hot form, winning the Wimbledon and defending his Olympic Gold. Without a doubt, Murray is the man to beat.

Djokovic is the defending champion in New York while Murray is defending a mere 180 points, hence winning the title would greatly help Andy in cutting down the gap of 5535 points between them. Now Djokovic will also be defending his titles at Shanghai, Paris and WTF in London later this year. Let’s just not think about numbers right now. The most simplified calculation for Murray to achieve that numero uno spot is to win all four of the mentioned tournaments, including the last slam. No matter what Novak does then, it’d be irrelevant. It’s a huge ask for Murray and an equally difficult one for Novak, considering his latest health issues.

However, if Andy fails to win any of these events, it’d come down to how Novak performs, hoping he does participate in all of them. Murray has a cumulative total of 1340 points to defend in all these four tournaments, while Novak defends 5500. So winning all four would place Andy at 13465 points, while a runner up position in all four would place Novak at 12740 ATP points.

Now the question remains, are you comfortable betting on Andy being victorious in all four of them or rooting for Novak to win atleast one and making the finals in the other three? The second week of the Open could provide a clearer picture on where we are heading!

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