Murray to lose number one spot as he fights to make US Open

Nadal expected to grab top spot as injuries also hit Djokovic and Wawrinka

Andy Murray's reign as the world's number one tennis player will end this month after his injury battles forced him to pull out of the Cincinnati Masters.

The Scot is still struggling with the hip problem that hampered him at Wimbledon, but is hopeful of being fit for the US Open later this month.

"His insistence he could play at the US Open is a good sign after fears his troublesome hip could rule him out for the rest of the season," says The Guardian.

He is not the only player "feeling the effects of a gruelling year", adds the paper. "Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka have already revealed they will sit out the rest of the season with elbow and knee injuries, respectively."

However, Murray's injury woes mean "the 30-year-old is now certain to lose his number one ranking", says the BBC.

"Murray, who has held the number one ranking since November, will be overtaken by Rafael Nadal on 14 August if the Spaniard reaches the semi-finals of the Rogers Cup in Montreal this week.

"If not, either Nadal or Roger Federer will replace Murray at the top of the standings after Cincinnati on 21 August."

It has been a tough year for Britain's top male tennis player. He has suffered from shingles, flu, elbow problems and now the hip injury.

"The five successive tournaments that Murray won at the end of last year, thus securing the number one ranking, are beginning to feel like ancient history," says Simon Briggs of the Daily Telegraph.

"Perhaps the loss of the top spot will galvanise Murray, for he has worn it more like an albatross than a crown," he adds.

Murray's only title this year was in Dubai five months ago.

"His win ratio for 2017 now stands at just 71 per cent, lower than any annual figure he has delivered since he was a teenager," adds Briggs. "But he has nevertheless clung on to the top for 40 weeks, thanks to the way Federer and Nadal – who had been so inactive in the second half of last season – have hoovered up almost all the significant titles this year."

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