Despite loss to Djokovic in Doha, Andy Murray gains ground in rankings

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Andy Murray will be the No. 1 seed at next week's Australian Open. (AP)

Andy Murray lost a heartbreaking three-setter to Novak Djokovic in the Qatar ExxonMobil Open final this past Saturday, but it was hardly a wasted weekend for the Scot.

The world No. 1 actually gained ground on the second-ranked Serb despite the 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 defeat in Doha.

Murray (12,560 points) played the non-ATP affiliated Hopman Cup in the first week of 2016, so he didn’t have any points to defend. Djokovic (11,780 points), on the other hand, had everything to lose as the defending champion at the event. Djokovic’s point total remained the same, but Murray picked up 150 as the runner-up.

Murray will be the No. 1 seed at next week’s Australian Open, and Djokovic will be right behind him at No. 2. If Djokovic wins the trophy Down Under and Murray fails to make it to the semifinals, the 12-time Grand Slam champion will take the top ranking back.

Djokovic is the two-time defending champion in Melbourne, and he has won the season’s first Slam six times. Murray has played brilliantly in Australia throughout his career, but he’s never earned the ultimate prize, falling in the final on five different occasions.

Should the world’s top two players meet in the championship match, it will be tough to bet against Djokovic. The Serb has beaten Murray four times in the Australian Open final. 

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