- Chris Wilkinson
World No. 1 now a realistic aim for MurrayChris Wilkinson April 5, 2013
It has been an interesting year for Andy Murray, certainly one that he can build on. While his Sony Open victory over David Ferrer and a return to world No. 2 has been dominating the headlines, Murray has not necessarily been playing his best tennis of late.
But being a top player is all about winning when you are not playing particularly well. I think the short term goal for him is to add another grand slam this year, and aim for that No. 1 spot in the long run. He might not clinch it this year, but with the form he has shown over the past 12 months then next year is definitely a possibility.
Murray did not play his best tennis in Miami; certainly the final against Ferrer was not the best to watch. But with his Wimbledon final appearance, the Olympic gold medal and his first Grand Slam US Open victory behind him, there is no doubt he can achieve that top spot - be it this year or next.
Although, I think the most interesting debate to come out of Miami was the way the courts had played. They were a lot slower. You don't want to get to the point where the game is serve-dominated, but what's missing now is a bit of variety from the players.
It is worth noting that with Novak Djokovic sitting top of the rankings and Murray moving up to No. 2, this is the first time since 2003 that both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are both outside of the top two. The men's side of the game is now a lot more open than it was; despite losing a couple of matches, I do not believe that Djokovic is suffering a slump in form. He is still world No.1 and the favourite, and I believe that Murray's best chances will come at Wimbledon and his defence of the US Open. But with the likes of Ferrer, Thomas Berdych and Juan Martin Del Potro challenging, we are in for a very interesting year of tennis.
Laura Robson has taken over Heather Watson as British No. 1, but it will be down to how she plays the following year if she is to stay there. It is interesting; as a player, when you have a good year it soon turns to how you play the next year. Other players begin to work out how good you are, where your weaknesses are and start to find out your tactics.
Robson started the year really well. She has got a big game; she has the ability to produce a big serve, as well as big ground shots - but there are possible question marks over her movement. I think it will be a fascinating year for her.
Heather Watson has suffered a slightly disappointing start to her year, which has not been made better with the news that she has now been diagnosed with glandular fever. First and foremost, I wish her a speedy recovery from the illness.
Watson was set to miss the WTA event in Charleston with a leg injury after reversing her decision to take a break from tennis. The break will now allow her to take stock of what she wants and take a bit of a back seat, remind herself of what her goals are and what she needs to do to improve.
A break like that can sometimes be a positive thing, but the main concern is to see her full recover from the illness.
Chris Wilkinson is a former British No. 1