Murray says Djokovic main rival

01 January 2017 12:38:04 EST

Andy Murray has used the start of the 2017 tennis season to reassert his belief that Novak Djokovic remains his main threat.

Murray begins the year as world number one and will be aiming to continue his dominance of the world game, starting at the Australian Open where he has been a beaten finalist five times.

Djokovic has beaten him in four of those finals and the Serb has won in Melbourne five of the past six years.

So, despite Murray beginning the year as world number one and having won the World Tour Finals against Djokovic last time out, he is well aware of the challenge posed to him by his great rival.

Murray said: "I had a great sort of four, five months at the end of last year and I still only got to No 1 by one match, basically at the end of the year, so I know it will be very tough to stay there."

He is 13/8 to finally win at the Australian Open while Djokovic is 13/8 and Stan Wawrinka, the 2014 champion, is 12/1.

Murray and Djokovic are the top two seeds at the Qatar Open next week as they prepare in earnest for Melbourne.

Murray has won the event twice in the past, in 2008 and 2009 and begins his 2017 campaign against the French player Jeremy Chardy.

Djokovic, meanwhile is the defending champion, having beaten Rafael Nadal in last year's final. He starts up against the German Jan-Lennard Struff.

The tournament also includes Tomas Berdych, David Goffin and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga ranked 10, 11 and 12 in the world.

The Australian Open begins at Melbourne Park on 16th January and ends on the 29th.

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