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Djokovic absence may help Andy Murray reach ATP tour finals

July 27, 2017

Andy Murray may end up being the beneficiary of Novak Djokovic's decision to take the remainder of the year off to rest his persistent elbow injury.

Djokovic announced his decision via his Facebook page, stating: "All the doctors I've consulted, and all the specialists I have visited, in Serbia and all over the world, have agreed that this injury requires rest."

It means the 12-time Grand Slam winner, who retired from his Wimbledon quarter-final against Tomas Berdych when the injury became too troublesome to play on with, will miss the US Open and the points he was defending after appearing in the final last year.

However, as he will next be seen in 2018, his end-of-year ranking will not matter in terms of qualifying for the ATP World Tour finals at the O2 Arena. This could help Andy Murray to qualify as the Scot is at risk not only of soon losing his place at the top of the rankings, but also failing to qualify for London if he misses a lot of tennis due to his hip issues.

Murray is yet to announce a decision on playing in the US Open after seeing specialists about his injury, but if he is not in a position to defend the mass of points he piled up in his stellar run at the back end of 2016, he could be relying on others to either fail or not be fit to ensure his place in the top eight.

Fans booking corporate hospitality for the ATP World Finals may be particularly keen to see Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in action, as the pair may be vying for the world number one slot at the end of the season.

As for Djokovic, fans booking early for the Championships, Wimbledon could see the former champion back at his best, according to Pat Cash.

The 1987 Wimbledon champion told BBC Sport the Serb could return from his break "mentally refresh, get his enthusiasm back, and start back again strongly".

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