ANDY Murray has slipped to fifth in the ATP world tennis rankings after being leapfrogged by Japan’s Kei Nishikori.
Murray - the British No 1 - suffered defeat at the hands of Gilles Simon and Croatian teenager Borna Coric at the Rotterdam Open and Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships respectively, just weeks after reaching the final of the Australian Open.
The 25-year-old Nishikori, who is the only male Japanese tennis player to ever be ranked in the ATP’s top 10, has enjoyed a string of successes, including winning his third successive Memphis Open and securing his eighth ATP Tour title.
Novak Djokovic holds a sizeable lead over Roger Federer in second (13165 pts to 9205 pts) but the Swiss ace disposed of his Serbian rival 6-3 7-5 in the Dubai final last Saturday.
Murray is now looking ahead to Great Britain’s Davis Cup tie against the United States in Glasgow, due to begin on March 6.
He is ahead of Canada’s Milos Raonic, Stanislas Wawrinka, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych and Marin Cilic in the top 10 rankings.
Rafa Nadal sits in third, just 260 points ahead of Nishikori while Murray is on 5370 points.
Simon currently sits 14th while Coric is ranked at 61.
ATP World Tennis Rankings
1 Novak Djokovic (Ser) 13165
2 Roger Federer (Swit) 9205
3 Rafael Nadal (Spa) 5675
4 Kei Nishikori (Jap) 5415
5 Andy Murray (GB) 5370
6 Milos Raonic (Can) 4980
7 Stanislas Wawrinka (Swi) 4595
8 David Ferrer (Spa) 4535
9 Tomas Berdych (Cze) 4340
10 Marin Cilic (Cro) 3450