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Murray: Djokovic still the main threat

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 02-01-2017
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World No 1 Andy Murray is adamant that Novak Djokovic remains his main rival in terms of the battle to top the rankings. 

The two great rivals could be set for their first battle of the season this week in the Qatar Open, which gets underway on Monday.

Murray will be the top seed after dislodging Djokovic towards the end of the 2016 season and he expects the Serb to be a huge force again this year.

Asked who was his biggest threat, Murray said: "In terms of the number one ranking, Novak would be.

"I had a great sort of four, five months at the end of last year and I still only got to No 1 by one match, basically at the end of the year, so I know it will be very tough to stay there."

Murray will begin his campaign in Qatar against Jeremy Chardy of France on Tuesday and would face Djokovic in the final next Saturday, if the seedings go to plan.

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Djokovic claimed the title last year and he will start out against Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff on Monday.

The 12-time Grand Slam winner took the Australian and French Opens in 2016 but his form tailed off somewhat during the second half of the year, giving Murray the chance to overhaul him.

But Djokovic said: "I don't see the six months, second six months of 2016 as a failure or anything like that

"It's not in my mindset, I guess, in my philosophy of life to observe things in this way, that I didn't succeed, that I failed, that I've fallen or something like that.

"I just feel like every experience is a blessing one way or another."

And the 29-year-old says his determination to win remains as high as ever.

"Without a doubt, when I'm on the court there is no other thing than to win that tennis match."

The likes of Tomas Berdych and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will also be in the field in Qatar, as the 2017 season gets off to a cracking start.

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