Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, French Open, Andre Agassi, Roland Garros, tennis
Andy Murray.Reuters.

It's been a tough year for current and former world no.1s Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. Both tennis icons have managed to reach only two finals this year and have only won one title each so far. While there has been some improvement in Djokovic's performances since he parted ways with his entire coaching staff, Murray still has a lot of work to do if he is to remain world no.1 by the end of the year.

Since reaching the final of the Qatar Open and winning the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship early in 2017, Murray's only other decent performance came at the Barcelona Open, when he reached the semi-finals. Apart from those three tournaments, the Scot has suffered early exits in every tournament he has taken part in.

Also read: Rafael Nadal thinks Andy Murray will challenge him for French Open title

It was always going to be a tough ask for Murray to replicate the form he showed throughout 2016 and that got him the world no.1 spot. In 2016 he became the first player to win a Grand Slam, ATP World Tour Finals, an Olympic singles gold medal and a Masters 1000 crown in the same season. Part of the blame for his struggles this year is because of an elbow injury and, maybe, a lack of motivation.

However, Murray is keen to get back to his best at the French Open and he feels that playing at a Grand Slam event always gives him the extra motivation he needs and he hopes that works in his favour.

"I got to No. 1 in the world at the end of last year and there's been some times this year where it's been difficult to keep up the motivation and set new goals. The last few months have been difficult for sure. I always wanted to perform at my best and play my best tennis at the Grand Slams and that's still the case now," live tennis quoted Murray as saying.

Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, French Open, Andre Agassi, Roland Garros, tennis
Novak Djokovic.Reuters.

"I always feel extra motivation when I come to a Slam, even if I've been playing badly. I'm excited to get out there and compete. Hopefully I'll get four or five good days of practice and preparation and I'll have a good tournament."

Murray certainly needs all the motivation he can get as Djokovic slowly seems to be getting back to his best. The Serb is the defending champion at Roland Garros and after two strong performances at the Madrid Open and the Italian Open, where he reached the semi-finals and final, one would expect him to build on that.

Also the fact that Djokovic has Andre Agassi as his coach now will be a bigger concern for Murray for the rest of the tennis season. 

As mentioned above, Murray needs to put in a strong performance at the French Open if he wants to remain world no.1 at the end of the year. The Scot is currently on 10,370 ATP points and Djokovic is just 2,925 points behind him at the moment.

If the Serb defends his title in Paris he would be just 925 points behind Murray and if the world no.1 continues to disappoint and if Djokovic continues to improve, he could drop to No.2 by the end of the year.