After Novak Djokovic beat Andy Murray in the French Open final to win his second major of the year, all the talk was about the Serbian going on to complete the calendar Grand Slam, the Holy Grail for modern tennis players. Nobody, not even in their wildest dreams, imagined, come the final leg of the season, Murray would be challenging Djokovic for the No.1 ranking.
However, that is pretty much the case as we head into the final few tournaments of the season, with Murray standing a chance of wresting the world number one crown from Djokovic at the Paris Masters this week.
Having won the title in Vienna two days back, Murray is now just 415 points behind Djokovic in the rankings, when a few months back it was in the thousands. However with Djokovic's form nosediving – by his own extremely high standards – after his stunning loss to Sam Querrey at Wimbledon and Murray winning quite a few titles, including the one at the All England Championships, that gap has reduced considerably.
So much so that if Djokovic fails to get to the final in Paris and Murray wins the title, the latter will be the new number one men's singles tennis player in the world.
"It's not in my control," Murray said when asked about the No.1 ranking." Even if I win all of my matches this week, I still might not get there.
"It's in Novak's hands. He's ahead now, so if he wins his matches and gets to the latter stages of the last two tournaments, then he'll most likely keep the No. 1 spot.
"I don't feel any differently now to how I did six, eight weeks ago. My goal wasn't to finish No. 1 at the end of this year. I wanted to finish this year as strong as possible, and I think there is a lot stronger chance of doing it in the early part of next year, which is what I targeted rather than this week."
There might be a few eyebrows raised if Murray does usurp Djokovic, considering the Brit still trails the Serbian in number of Grand Slams won this year, as well as overall. The head-to-head record, particularly recently, is also very much in the current world number one's favour.
However, as Murray has shown this season, consistency is the key to becoming the top dog in tennis and while the Serbian has lost his over the second half of the season, the Brit has stayed strong, adding several ATP titles to the three Grand Slam finals he reached in 2016, even if he only managed to win one of those – no prizes for guessing it was the one in which he did not have to play Djokovic in the final.
To be fair to the 29-year-old, though, he has been quite brilliant in the second half of the season, and had it not been for a poor quarterfinal, the US Open title would probbaly have been his.
"It's a long season," Murray added. "I do deserve to be there, because the rankings don't lie. We have a lot of mandatory events that pretty much all of the top players play in. If you're ranked one or two or three or four, that's where you deserve to be ranked providing you're fit.
"I have been healthy the whole year, and the last four or five months I have played the best tennis of my career. So I deserve to be ranked No. 2 in the world now and Novak deserves to be No. 1 because of the year that he's had."