Stefan de Vrij to Chelsea transfer news & rumors update

English Premier League (EPL) club Chelsea are eyeing Lazio center-back Stefan de Vrij as a realistic transfer target this summer. The Blues have reportedly decided to abandon their pursuit of Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli, because of his huge valuation by the Serie A club.

Napoli have demanded a transfer fee of $59 million for Koulibaly, which seems to be too expensive for Chelsea coach Antonio Conte. De Vrij on the other hand is available for $19.67 million and is considered a much better proposition by the Stamford Bridge hierarchy, as reported by Sunday People, via Daily Mirror.

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Conte knows that Chelsea’s defense is the most fragile area of the team and the Italian wishes to address that. The Blues were exposed defensively last season, which contributed to their disastrous title defense.

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However, Conte must note that the Dutchman was unavailable for the majority of 2015/16 season, due to a knee injury. He managed to make just two appearances and was heavily missed by Lazio as he is an important player for the side.

The 23-year-old is expected to make a strong impact this season after recuperating from his injury. De Vrij had a brilliant debut season for Lazio and helped the club achieve a UEFA Champions League birth. He is an exceptional defender and is known for his tactical awareness and focus on the game.

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His price of $19.67 million should be mouthwatering for Chelsea given the talent De Vrij possesses. However, given that the player has been out of action for over a year, the deal could prove to be a gamble. Also, given his young age, consistency could be an issue for the Dutchman.

Nothing official has been mentioned by either of the clubs or the player himself and we have to wait to see whether Chelsea decides to submit a transfer bid or not.

For those unaware of De Vrij’s talents, here is a video of him.

Video courtesy: Della Bola

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NBA History: Looking back some of the most unforgettable NBA injuries in the past decade

Basketball is one of the most popular sports today. Like any other sports, playing basketball carry the risk of injuries affecting the players’ and even the fans’ desire to play and follow the sport. In professional basketball some injuries could be career-ending– a fear most players have to deal with on a regular basis.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is one the most popular basketball leagues in the world and all young players want to be part of the league and have a career in the American pro league.

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It comes with risks however, and prospective pros have to think twice about the possible injuries they might suffer while playing in the pro league.

Let’s look back to some of the most unforgettable NBA injuries of all time.

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Joel Pryzbilla Raptured and Dislocated Pattela

Video Courtesy: Blaze of Love/youtube

Joel Pryzbilla played for the Portland Trailblazers. During their game against the Dallas Mavericks in 2009, he raptured and dislocated his patella when he landed incorrectly on his right leg from trying to grab an offensive rebound.

Pryzbilla missed the remainder of that season after surgery, and his career was never really the same after that.

Baron Davis Knee Injury

Video Courtesy: 1jzo/youtube

In the horrific injury, Baron Davis tried to grab a rebound and after he marched up on the court. He tried to make a shot, but his knee buckled and he went down as he extended his arms while making the shot.

Davis was remove by the team in the off season and was still rehabbing as late as 2014. The injury was the end of his career, as he’s never played a second in the NBA again

Shaun Livingston Breaks his knee

Video Courtesy: misterbasketduke/youtube

Shaun Livingston played a decent season for the Los Angeles Clippers before the horrifying injury happens. Livingston breaks his knee after it completely bent to the other direction.

Livingston tore his anterior cruciate, posterior cruciate, suffered collateral ligaments, and dislocated his kneecap.

He was out in the league for a couple of years and but suddenly, through the help of his doctors, Livingston recovered and he was a vital piece in the championship run of the Golden State Warriors couple of seasons ago.

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Paul George breaks his ankle

Video Courtesy: NBA Highlights/youtube

During a practice game for Team USA in 2014, George tried to block James Harden’s lay-up, but he ended up breaking his leg, bending it at 90 degree angle. The practice game was immediately stopped as everyone inside the court left in shock.

George missed most of the game of the following season but somehow he managed to recover, and right now he is trying his luck to achieve his Olympic dream.

Andrew Bogut Dislocated his elbow

Video Courtesy: MyVid3oBlog/youtube

Andrew Bogut played for the Milwaukee Bucks for his first stop in his NBA career. During their game against the Phoenix Suns in 2010, the Australian tried to go for a dunk in the second quarter. He landed bone-wrenchingly to his arm resulting to a dislocated elbow, a broken hand and a sprained wrist.

The injury restricted him for the rest of the season couple of years back, but he managed to recover. In fact, he was chosen to play basketball in 2011 for Australia, when he was able recover into the game and properly rehab the injury.

Here are just some of the most unforgettable injuries in the past decade. There are some other injuries that happened before and after these things happened. These incidents remind and teach us that we should add a little precaution in playing basketball.

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Thunder fans hold up “in Russ we Trust” sign in support of Russell Westbrook

Oklahoma City Thunder fans showed their support for Russell Westbrook as they hold up signage in their respective houses that bear the message “in Russ we Trust,” hoping to convince Westbrook to renegotiate his contract with the team and avoid free agency next season.

Clearly, the Thunder fans are sending a message of hope that they would not want a repeat of what happened with the case of Kevin Durant, who left them this summer to sign with the Golden State Warriors. But the 27-year old native out of Long Beach, California has already stated that he would not want any renegotiation of his contract with the Thunder. In short, Westbrook is keeping his end of the bargain by playing out his last season with them and then get into free agency next year.

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Thunder fans with the "In Russ we trust" sign outside their house.

— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) July 23, 2016

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Thunder are exhausting all possible options to keep their veteran point guard as they have waived Dion Waiters in the process to open up their cap space should Westbrook sit it out to renegotiate. There are also those rumors that the Thunder would team Westbrook with Blake Griffin once the 27-year old Oklahoma City native goes into free agency next summer.

One of the reasons why Westbrook would want to jump into free agency next year is the looming increase in salary cap again that is projected to be around $108 million. Westbrook sees that opportunity for a stable future and would want to take advantage of that as well. Currently, Westbrook still enjoys a $17.770 million base salary for the next season. With the pending increase by next year, Westbrook is hoping to get more for a stable future.

Who will help Russell Westbrook fill the void left by KD and Ibaka?

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 20, 2016

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But the Thunder are also facing that fact that if they would lose Westbrook to free agency next year, they might as well place him in the trading option to get something in return as they would rebuild their team. However, the thought of Westbrook joining the free agency next year would have teams wait for one more season so as to sign him with future assurance. Teams see it risky to open up trade talks with a disgruntled player.

Ideal situation for Thunder is to reportedly extend Russell Westbrook, sign Blake Griffin.

— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) July 19, 2016

But for the Thunder fans they have faith that Westbrook would reconsider his decision and hope that their voice would be taken into consideration. Losing Durant this year was already painful for the Thunder fans, the thought of losing Westbrook as well would seem a downfall of the franchise.

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Valentina Shevchenko wants a rematch against Amanda Nunes after a win over Holly Holm

Valentina Shevchenko is looking to raise the stakes as she calls out reigning women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes to a rematch minutes after beating Holly Holm, Saturday night in UFC at Fox 20 held at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.

Shevchenko stated that Nunes is scared of a rematch that is why she called her out after her fight against Holm to let the world know that she is serious in challenging the champ. She stated that she has been keeping an eye on things taking place in the women’s bantamweight division. She added that she is ready to fight Nunes through a grilling five rounder and noted that vengeance is what keeps her motivated for the fight.

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“I’m keeping my eyes on the bantamweight championship,” she said. “These are my plans. I hope to get my revenge against Amanda Nunes. I’ll do my best to make sure this happens. I know perfectly well that I need to train hard. This I promise. I will always fight with all my heart in the Octagon.”

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Nunes reacted to Shevchenko call and stated over her Twitter account that she would gladly fight her and beat her once again. Nunes taunted Shevchenko that she needs to improve more for her to contend for her title adding that she is still not impressed with her win over Holm.

I won the first fight with @BulletValentina by UD… if I fight her again I will beat her again, this time very clean.#UFCChicago @joerogan

— Amanda Nunes (@Amanda_Leoa) July 24, 2016

I feel she needs to prove herself a little more. I think @VenezuelanVixen vs @BulletValentina. Winner comes to me

— Amanda Nunes (@Amanda_Leoa) July 24, 2016

Shevchenko stated that she has respect for Nunes as a fighter but wants that rematch since losing to her at UFC 196. She added lessons from the near death experience of her trainer Pavel Fedotov last May made her realize that life is too short and that she would jump at every opportunity when it is available for the taking.

She added that in beating Holm she was determined and focused. Shevchenko stressed that those are the character that she will bring in when she will fight Nunes for the title. Shevchenko added that she hopes the UFC would grant her request to fight Nunes.

Amanda Nunes doesn't think Valentina Shevchenko is ready for a title shot. @BulletValentina thinks Nunes is scared.

— MMAjunkie (@MMAjunkie) July 24, 2016

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With the win over Holm, Shevchenko has placed herself among the top contenders for the title shot and it will be up for UFC president Dana White if Shevchenko is worth the title shot. The women’s division has taken the interest of fight fans as well since Holm’s awesome victory over crowd-favorite Ronda Rousey back at UFC 193. From there, the golden belt would travel from the hands of Holm to Miesha Tate to Nunes.

For Shevchenko hard work pays off and keeps her motivated to move up into the ranks of being a noted fighter inside the Octagon. She proved it with her win over Holm and wants to prove to the world that she could also be a title contender. Shevchenko does not only seek vengeance over Nunes but a shot in greatness as well.

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Tennis News: Andy Murray plans to hunt down Novak Djokovic as no. 1 in world tennis, targets more Grand Slams

After winning his second Wimbledon title, Andy Murray plans to take the top spot from Novak Djokovic. He revealed that he will refocus his goals on winning more events than just Grand Slams.

Currently ranked No. 2 in ATP Rankings, the British champion is almost 5,000 points away from the current No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Murray acknowledged the “invincibility” of the Serbian player in the last 18 months. He admitted he was incredible on court and great in every tournament Djokovic is in.

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That being said, this hinted a clear motivation for Andy Murray to replace Novak Djokovic in his current standing in world tennis. The realization took place after the former’s winning in Wimbledon 2016.

ALSO READ: Tennis News: Andy Roddick names US young men to win Wimbledon Grand Slam & end Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic reign

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He did a little shift from his mission. Before, he wanted to win more Grand Slams in Wimbledon. But the atmosphere changed after the event. Murray clearly stated to the public about his plans on targeting the No. 1 spot in all set of events.

According to The Guardian, his reunion with his coach Ivan Lendl caused the ambition shift. He said that Lendl advised him to win more on events to assure the top spot in ATP Rankings.

Mark Philippoussis supported this assumption. He believed Andy Murray can catch up Novak Djokovic and claim the top spot. He told Telegraph Murray can surely achieve that with Lendl’s help. For him, they both have the dangerous combination in the next Grand Slams.

Although he honestly stated that it might be done in itty-bitty steps, but the goal is guaranteed. He even described Novak Djokovic’s situation like climbing a mountain (Murray and Lendl’s partnership).

ALSO READ: Tennis News: Andy Roddick doesn’t think Novak Djokovic can catch up with Roger Federer in total Grand Slam wins

The Serbian champion has been on the top spot for long time. So defeating him requires a lot of work for Andy Murray, Philippoussis noted. But it’s never impossible for the British Grand Slam champion to hunt down Novak Djokovic.

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Holly Holm says she needs to believe in herself more after loss to Valentina Shevchenko

Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm losing to Valentina Shevchenko over the weekend may put her in the cellar but she stated that she needs to believe in herself more to be able to bounce back again.

Holm lost to Shevchenko in overwhelming fashion via unanimous decision in UFC at Fox 20 held at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. In the post-fight press conference through MMA Junkie Holm stated that Shevchenko was tough and that the loss does not end things for her UFC career.

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She added that she just needs to learn from the mistakes she made during her fight, move on, and believe in herself.

“I believe in myself,” Holm said. “But I think that I need to believe in what I’ve learned, even recently, and not be so hesitant with what’s coming at me. I think in my last fight (against Tate), I was hesitant and thinking, ‘I’m fighting a wrestler, I need to watch out for the takedowns.’ Well, guess what? I’ve learned a lot, and I know a lot in these areas, as well…”

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Holly Holm, a prize-fighter, is still forced to defend why she chose…to fight. Imagine that. Sure, she's 0-2 since, but she still got paid

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) July 24, 2016

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Prior to her fight against Shevchenko, Holm was eager to call out Miesha Tate, who defeated her at UFC 196, for a rematch. And with the turn of events, that rematch might get a very slim chance of happening. Holm has to get back to the drawing board again and figure out how to improve her skills on the ground as she was taken by Shevchenko by surprise in their match.

Holm admitted that the women’s division in the UFC is a tough competition to be in. She explained that one can not let the feeling of holding the title be an assurance to easily remain on top. She noted that there are talented fighters in their weight class and there will always be someone stronger coming up to challenge everyone.

“I know there’re competitive girls in this sport and there’s always somebody coming in. The top five aren’t the same top five that they were (before). I feel like especially this being the first women’s division in the UFC, everybody looks at that and says, ‘I want to be there,’ and so they work hard,” Holm added.

“And it’s created a lot of competition in our weight class – which is good. I want to feel like I’m up against the best. I know these girls are tough. That’s what makes a win great, a loss devastating, but …”

Loved that fight. Great fight @BulletValentina and @HollyHolm. Thank you for the beautiful combat ladies. @ufc #UFCChicago @danawhite

— Robin Black (@robinblackmma) July 24, 2016

Valentina Shevchenko def. Holly Holm by UD on Saturday

Holm has lost both her fights since upsetting Ronda Rousey

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 24, 2016

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For Holm, the loss was hard to absorb that she stress that life must go on and one has to accept the realities of life. She added that she needs to get better and better to be able to come back strong and prove her critics wrong. Holm vows to come back and to come back strong as ever.

"I'm not here to participate, I'm here to dominate" – @HollyHolm #UFCChicago

— UFC (@ufc) July 24, 2016

The loss to Shevchenko is Holm’s second consecutive upset defeat that puts her MMA career at 10 wins and two losses.

Rio Olympics 2016: Andy Murray vs Novak Djokovic final expected in gold medal clash?

In the nearing Rio Olympics 2016, many are expecting to have an Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic final match. During the anticipated gold medal clash, a lot of tennis fans are thrilled on what’s going to happen between the two world’s best tennis players.

Earlier, Andy Murray announced his inability to join the Rogers Cup in Toronto. His reason was he was too overwhelmed with the Wimbledon 2016 matches. He needed more time to relax and revive his lost energy for the upcoming Rio Olympics 2016.

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When he finally withdrew from the said tournament, he told that he has to prepare more on defending his title in Rio. That being said, he has allotted more time on training and preparing for the on court events next month.

ALSO READ: Tennis News: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray pull out from Rogers Cup for Rio Olympics 2016; Novak Djokovic won’t make last minutes withdrawal

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In fact, the partnership of Murray and his coach Ivan Lendl became the most talked recently. According to our previous report, the two, if combined, will be the most dangerous combo to predict in the Olympic games.

Consequently, many tennis fans thought that whoever fights with the current gold medal and title holder Andy Murray might find it tough to defeat such a man. Given this notion, not even Radael Nadal or Roger Federer could conquer that kind of tennis prowess.

However, some tennis experts from the ESPN thought that Murray should not be totally complacent with his state in the moment. They explained that Novak Djokovic could turn out like a god in the next set of events in Rio Olympics 2016.

They added that the reason behind his unexpected loss in Wimbledon was he got distracted. Yet, this should not fool everyone, not even Andy Murray. Nobody knew what the Serbian world No. 1-ranked has in-stored for the Olympic matches in August. Perhaps, he has already acquired the kind of condition he didn’t have in Wimbledon.

If this is true, fans should anticipate a final match between the current Olympic title holder Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic in Rio Olympics 2016.

ALSO READ: Tennis News: Will Roger Federer play in 2016 Rio Olympics?

At that time, there are two things to expect. If Murray wins, he will be the first British man to win consecutive Olympic gold medals after his win in 2012, Sports Keeda noted. Otherwise, Novak Djokovic could earn the title and steal the spotlight from Murray since four years.

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NBA Rumors: Chicago Bulls trading Taj Gibson for Rudy Gay?

Rumors and speculations are now swirling around the Chicago Bulls who are reportedly trading Taj Gibson for Rudy Gay of the Sacramento Kings.

The Chicago Bulls have made a tremendous improvement in their roster when they acquired Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo. However, some people are still questioning their ability to be a contender in the Eastern Conference. Bryan Mazique of Forbes suggested that the Bulls should trade Taj Gibson for a shooter to create an offensive balance with the team.

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“With three ball dominators like Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler set to start, the offensive balance won’t be ideal. Moving Gibson for a shooter would at least be an improvement., Mazique wrote.

Marc Stein of ESPN revealed that the Chicago Bulls are having trade talks with the Sacramento Kings involving forward Rudy Gay. The 29-year-old forward can become a free agent next year so trading him now will be the best move for the Kings.

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The Chicago Bulls have a logjam at the power forward position having Taj Gibson, Nikola Mirotic, Bobby Portis and Cristiano Felicio. Robin Lopez will undeniably become the starting center next season. Therefore, the four big men will be battling for the power forward and backup center position.

The Kings currently need a player who can provide a veteran leadership in their team. Adding a player like Taj Gibson will be a nice option. Gibson provides a big contribution on the defensive end, making DeMarcus Cousins focus his energy on the offensive end.

ALSO READ: Russell Westbrook or Blake Griffin? Lakers have ‘unnamed trade target’ in mind

The Sacramento Kings can straight swap Rudy Gay for Taj Gibson. The trade deal will definitely benefit both teams in filling up the needs in their roster. Rudy Gay’s presence in the Chicago Bulls will provide an offensive balance, giving them an accurate shooter and solid scorer.

Meanwhile, adding a veteran forward like Taj Gibson will provide leadership in the Sacramento Kings. Gibson can help in the development of the Kings’ big men, teaching them how to play the game in the right way.

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NBA Rumors: Jason Williams calls Charles Barkley a ‘loser’, defends Kevin Durant’s decision

Jason Williams has retired from the NBA but he still shared his opinion on the 2016 free agency. In a recent interview, the former Oklahoma City Thunder point guard defended Kevin Durant’s decision to go to the powerhouse team Golden State Warriors and also called ex-pro Charles Barkley a “loser”.

Via Did You See That, Williams credited Durant for doing what he wants in free agency and also bashed Barkley for his criticism of Durant for leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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“Ah man, you can’t put me on Kevin Durant’s level first and foremost. If I was Kevin Durant and that’s what I wanted to do, then that’s what I would’ve done. I wouldn’t have made a decision based on anybody else,” Williams said in the interview.

“Because it seems like he’s done that for eight or nine years now. You know you’ve [got to] take care of yourself and make yourself happy at the end of the day.”

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ALSO READ: NBA History: Looking back some of the most unforgettable NBA injuries in the past decade

Williams, who also played for the Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat and Orlando Magic in his NBA career, was critical of Barkley, who previously called out Durant in his free agency decision after NBA rumors linking him to other teams.

“I mean all these guys [Charles] Barkley and them talking about oh they wouldn’t have done it, well they [were] never free agents back in the day…like they didn’t have the choice. Nobody wanted his ass [Barkley] on their team because he was a loser. So that’s what I think about that,” Williams added.

Williams teamed up with former Kings point guard Mike Bibby for the Pedro’s Posse team in The Basketball Tournament, where they were eliminated in the Round of 16. Williams finished with 10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in their loss.

The Basketball Tournament is an event attended by former NBA pros like Williams and Bibby plus other former college stars. The winning team of the tournament will take home $2 million.

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Aside from talking about Kevin Durant’s decision and criticizing Charles Barkley, Jason Williams also shared his thoughts about still playing basketball even at the age of 40.

Photo courtesy: Instagram/slamonline

Rio Olympics 2016: Andy Murray targets Novak Djokovic’s World No 1 after Wimbledon win

One of the highly anticipated tennis matches in the Rio Olympics 2016 is a potential finals clash between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. Yet, the most highlighted thing about the two rivals is whether Murray could prove he is worthy of the top spot in world rankings compared to the Serbian champion.

Andy Murray’s plan on stealing Novak Djokovic’s current top spot has becoming the most sought and the most talked tennis headline in the past few days. According to various sources, the British pro reportedly trained and prepared the hardest way with Ivan Lendl to crush the Serbian champion.

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Daily Democrat News reported that this happened after he won his second Wimbledon title. He said that right after he received his second win, he felt more confident that he can get the World No. 1 title soon.

ALSO READ: 10 lessons Roger Federer wants you to learn on how to fail, win more in Wimbledon and rule the world

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There was also a change of goal and mission for Murray as well. He stated that instead of targeting an increase on the number of Grand Slams alone, he has to shift his focus on earning more winning points in total to gain the number one spot.

Currently, Murray is still around 5,000 points behind Novak Djokovic. Hence, he must strive hard to earn these points and go beyond it to surpass the Serbian. The first test on this will be the upcoming Rio Olympics 2016 where the pair are favored to meet in the gold medal match barring any upsets.


ALSO READ: Tennis News: Roger Federer to retire? No reason to leave sport yet, says Lleyton Hewitt

Aside from the Olympic Games, Murray has to win more other major and minor tournaments to challenge Djokovic atop the rankings.