Murray could close in on number three spot

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
Andy Murray

Andy Murray is 570 ranking points behind Novak Djokovic

Despite being blown away by Rafa Nadal in a 6-1 6-2 defeat at the final of the BNP Paribas Open, Andy Murray is remaining upbeat – and the prospect of snatching the world number three spot from Novak Djokovic is now looking closer than ever.

The Scot is currently in Miami ahead of the Sony Ericsson Open where he could once again face world number one Nadal, this time in the semi-finals.

Murray was in sublime form in the rounds leading up to the final in Indian Wells, most notably brushing aside Roger Federer 6-3 4-6 6-1 to open up a 6-2 lead over the Swiss in head-to-heads.

Now, in Florida, both Djokovic and Murray can gain ranking points as neither of the two won there last year, so there are plenty of points up for grabs. But it is definitely the Scot that is in better form of late. Djokovic crashed out of the Indian Wells Masters after a comprehensive 6-3 6-2 defeat by an in-form Andy Roddick in the quarter-finals.

“This has been one of the best weeks in my career.”

Andy Murray remains upbeat after his 6-1 6-2 defeat to Rafeal Nadal in the final of the BNP Paribas Open

The draw in Miami means that if Murray were to beat the likely semi-final opponent Nadal, he would probably face Djokovic or Federer in the final. However, he will be looking to get further than Djokovic in order to close the gap to number three. At present, there 570 points separating the British number one and Djokovic.

Current ATP Rankings:
1 Rafael Nadal 14990
2 Roger Federer 10910
3 Novak Djokovic 8420
4 Andy Murray 7850
5 Nikolay Davydenko 4735

Speaking after his loss to Nadal in Indian Wells on Sunday, 21-year-old Murray emphasised how pleased he was with his form at the tournament, despite the defeat in the final.

“This has been one of the best weeks in my career,” he said. “I’m surprised I managed to make the final. I’m very happy and very proud of what I have done this week. There are not many times that I feel proud when I come off the court after a defeat like that.”

“The next time I play Nadal, this match isn’t going to affect me because it’s going to be completely different.”

Murray will kick off in Miami with a match against either Marc Gicquel or Juan Monaco. The tournament starts on Wednesday.

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