Cream of the crop: Rafa set to return to No.1 male tennis player

Does becoming the top male tennis player kill your game? It appears to have taken its toll on Novak Djokovic with the Serb struggling for form and injury, and it now seems to have crushed Andy Murray like a mental demon crippling the Briton’s game.

With Murray struggling for form, the 30-year-old has failed to reach a Grand Slam final this calendar year and put together a miserable defence of his Wimbledon title after being defeated by Sam Query in the quarter-final.

Murray’s continual hip problems have now seen the No.1 pull out of the recent Canadian Open and Cincinnati Masters with injury, which has opened the door wide open for Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer to take the top spot off the Scot.

With Federer being defeated in the Montreal Masters final by Alexander Zverev, the Swiss has also pulled out of the Cincinnati Masters after damaging his back in the loss to Zverev. 

Following the 36-year-old’s withdrawal, it means Nadal will take the No.1 spot by next Monday; the first time the Spaniard has been at the pinnacle of men’s tennis since 2014.

In an injury stricken year in the men’s game, the US Open – which starts on the 28th of August – has already seen the likes of Stan Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic pull out of the tournament; both Federer and Murray could add to a long list of causalities that may see only one player feature from the top six ranked players.

Not great for the neutral, but surely encouraging for Nadal who will look to cement his place at the top of the men’s sport.