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Sir Andy Murray extends rankings lead despite Novak Djokovic defeat

KARIM JAAFAR/AFP/Getty Images

World No. 1 Sir Andy Murray has strengthened his position at the top of the rankings despite being beaten by Novak Djokovic in the final of the Qatar Open last week.

Murray took his place at the summit of the men's game after a scintillating run in the second half of 2016 saw him usurp Djokovic and end the Serbian's 122-week reign as world No. 1.

The Scot, knighted in the New Year's Honours list, is tipped to dominate 2017 but Djokovic brought a sense of normality back when he won a thrilling three-set final in Doha on Saturday.

However, despite that loss Murray actually extended his lead at the top due to the nature of the rankings.

Djokovic won the title last year and was defending 250 points so his tally remains the same while because Murray played in the Hopman Cup -- a non-ranking exhibition event -- the 150 points he won for finishing runner-up is added to his total, extending the gap to 630 points.

Therefore Murray is guaranteed to be No. 1 seed for the Australian Open, which starts next week, though will lose his crown to Djokovic if the Serbian retains his title in Melbourne and he does not make the semifinals.