Murray handed tough draw in bid to end year number one

Mon Nov 7, 2016 11:23am EST
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Andy Murray's route to securing the year-end world number ranking looks fraught with danger after the top seed was grouped with Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic for next week's ATP World Tour Finals in London.

Murray, who reached the number one ranking for the first time on Monday to end Novak Djokovic's 122-week reign, will begin his group round-robin matches on Monday against in-form Croatian Cilic.

Djokovic, whose form has dipped since he completed his career grand slam by winning the French Open for the first time in June, was placed in an easier-looking group with tournament debutants Gael Monfils and Dominic Thiem and Canada's Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic.

He has a combined 23-0 career record against that trio, leading Monfils 13-0, Raonic 7-0 and Thiem 3-0.

The 12-times grand slam-winning Serb will open on Sunday against world number nine Thiem.

Murray usurped Djokovic after winning the Paris Masters against John Isner on Sunday, although he was already assured of becoming the 26th player to top the ATP rankings when Raonic pulled out of their semi-final on Saturday.

Djokovic lost to Cilic in Paris at the quarter-final stage.

Murray has strung together 18 consecutive wins and has won his last four tournaments since losing in the U.S. Open quarter-finals to Japan's Nishikori.   Continued...

Tennis - Paris Masters tennis tournament men's singles final - Andy Murray of Britain v John Isner of the U.S. - Paris, France - 6/11/2016 - Murray reacts. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes