Andy Murray may have been ultimately disappointed to only manage the runners-up spot in Melbourne, but his efforts at the Australian Open have been rewarded with a two place jump in the latest ATP men's singles rankings up to fourth. His conqueror in the final, Novak Djokovic has capitalised on second ranked player Roger Federer's worse than expected performance at the Grand Slam event, by stretching his lead at the top of the rankings to in excess of 3,800 points over the Swiss player.

Rafael Nadal remains in third place, but is now less than 300 points ahead of the Britain, although the next Slam will be the French Open, where the Spaniard had won nine of the last ten championships.

Hence, Murray is likely to need to continue his strong form over the next few months, if he is to make any further ground on the top player in the world on clay. He will also have to keep on his guard to repel the threat from the ever improving Japanese player Kei Nishikori, who maintained his fifth place on the rankings and is still within striking distance of Murray, should he make the later stages of the big tournaments ahead.

Such are the peculiarities of the points system in some circumstances, Switzerland's number two singles player, Stan Wawrinka has actually slipped down from his previous fourth place to stand ninth now. That is despite him reaching the semi-finals last week and only being usurped by the champion Djokovic at that stage in a tense five-setter.

He has been effectively 'penalised' for not being able to defend his Australian Open crown that he had won twelve months earlier. The other losing semi-finalist Tomas Berdych not only had to suffer an alleged verbal blast from the Murray camp during his match, but also saw no great profit in terms of his ranking from his performance, as he remains seventh.

The major gainers in the new rankings were two young Australians, who both performed admirably in their home Slam. The promising Nick Kyrgios is now at a career-best of number 35 (up 18 places) as he fell at the quarter-finals to Murray, and is the highest-ranked teenager at 19 years of age in the world at present. His compatriot Bernard Tomic also gained a massive 18 places up to number 48, as he reached the fourth round before becoming one of Berdych's victims during the fortnight of action.