Andy Murray falls to eighth in the ATP rankings

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Andy Murray has fallen two places to eighth place in the updated ATP world rankings; his lowest position for six years.

The British star was knocked out of the Sony Open by Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals of the event that he won last year.

After the disappointment in Miami, he now faces the threat of a tough draw in both the upcoming majors; his least favored clay court's in the French Open followed by his defence of his Wimbledon crown. 

Murray hasn't been this low in the rankings since July 28th 2008 which followed a quarter-final exit of Wimbledon that year by Rafael Nadal. 

2014 has proved to be a tough year thus far. The 26-year-old underwent back surgery on a long-standing problem in September last year and he has struggled to rediscover his best form.

The winner of two majors is also without a coach since his split with Ivan Lendl a few weeks ago. A split that Murray describes as "a tough one to handle".

Lendl helped turn him into a winner following defeat in his first four major finals. He has since picked up Olympic Gold as well as victories at the US open in 2012 and Wimbledon last year. However Murray insists he is no rush to appoint the Czechoslovakian's successor. 

The British No 1 hasn't got past the semi-final stage of any event that he has entered this year, including a last-eight loss to Roger Federer in the Australian Open.

However he did lead Great Britain to a famous Davis Cup victory over USA back in January.

And now Murray will need to put the rankings disappointment behind him as he prepares to lead his country into the next round of the coveted cup alongside Dan Evans, James Ward and doubles partner Colin Fleming. 

A sweet smelling sense of excitement is building ahead of the match, as for the first time in 28 years, Great Britain have qualified for the World Group and they face a tough tie against Italy in the quarter-final stage. The tie starts on Friday in Naples and Murray, as ever, will be the key player. 

Elsewhere Nadal remained top of the rankings despite losing to second placed Djokovic in the final at Miami.

Stanislas Wawrinka, winner of the Australian open, kept his third place while his Swiss compatriot  Federer, winner of 17 Grand Slams, returns to the top four for the first time this year.  

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Andy Murray

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