Henman Predicts Murray will be World No 1 in 2017

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Tim Henman has backed Andy Murray for a tilt at the world No 1 ranking next spring.

The Scot enjoyed the best period of his career this summer, reaching seven consecutive finals and winning a second Wimbledon title and Olympic gold medal.

He remains more than 4,000 points behind world No 1 Novak Djokovic but the gap has reduced significantly.

Djokovic won four straight titles to end 2015, culminating in the ATP World Tour Finals in London, and then began 2016 by beating Murray in the final of the Australian Open and winning Masters titles in Indian Wells and Miami.

Henman said: “I think it’s going to be difficult this year but certainly early next year he’s got a good chance.

“He didn’t play well in Indian Wells or Miami (this year) so come March or April time it’s going to be interesting.

“It hasn’t really been a realistic prospect for Andy before because the number one player has always been so dominant, be that Roger, Rafa or Novak.

“But over the last six months he’s not far off being level on points with Novak. He’s got a lot to play for. For months he played incredible tennis with amazing consistency.

“What he achieved by beating Djokovic to win the Masters title in Rome then getting to his first French Open final, making the final at all four Grand Slams, and winning Wimbledon again and the Olympics again was amazing.”