Andy Murray has secured the number one spot in the world rankings at the end of 2016 following his victory over Novak Djokovic at the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena.
Murray beat his rival for the top spot in the standings in London in straight sets, just less than 24 hours after a close contest against Milos Raonic where he beat the Canadian in a final set tie-breaker to progress into the final.
The British player can be backed to win the 2017 Australian Open for the first time in his career in Melbourne in January where he is available at 7/4 with Betway Bookmaker who are the best price on the newly crowned world number one for the opening Grand Slam tournament of the New Year.
Murray has reached the final four times in Melbourne but has been beaten on all four occasions. He first did so in 2010 where Roger Federer defeated him in straight sets. In 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016 he met Djokovic for the title and was unable to get the better of the Serbian in those finals.
2016 was a huge year for Murray where he is now the favourite to end it in style by becoming the BC Sports Personality of the Year for the third time in his career. He was successful for the second time in his home Grand Slam at Wimbledon where he met Raonic for the title in the final. Just weeks later he won his second Olympic gold medal of his career in Rio, beating Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro in a close contest for the Olympic crown.
Murray can be confident of more Grand Slam success in 2017 as he goes into the New Year with a great deal of confidence as he has won his last 24 matches. If he has to meet Djokovic again in the final, he will feel he has his number at the moment. The Serbian has just dropped his level of performance at the moment which has allowed the British player to take full advantage.
With Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal both struggling to stay fit these days, the great generation of tennis is slowly coming to an end. Murray has fought hard in that period and can now reap the rewards of being at such a high level to be able to compete against three of the greatest in the history of the sport.
A lot of players struggle in Melbourne in the Australian Open, not only due to the heat on court, but also because it is very early in the season, therefore if you don’t put the work in during the off-season, you will get found out in the opening Grand Slam on the calendar. That is almost certainly not going to happen to Murray who trains as hard as anybody during the on and off season. He will arrive in Australia in optimum shape to give himself the best chance of being successful.
If he is able to break his maiden tag in Australia, Murray will then have one eye on the French Open which will be the only Grand Slam title he will not have won. The world number one did reach the final last year where he was beaten in four sets by Djokovic.
Murray is available at 4/1 to win the 2017 French Open. Those odds will shorten if the British player is successful in Melbourne, therefore if you fancy him to prevail in Paris, it may be wise to back him before the Australian Open.