It's a small occasion, Friday June 10, which nearly went unnoticed. Caught between the celebration of Rafael Nadal at Roland-Garros and the discontent of some gamers who rail towards the non-distribution of factors at Wimbledon, Andy (*50*) victory at the expense of Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals of the event Stuttgart, nevertheless, marked an essential date. It was certainly the first time, since the Masters remaining in 2016 gained towards Novak Djokovic, that the Briton beat a participant ranked in the high 5 in the world!
Andy Murray + grass = magic
— ATP Tour (@atptour) June 10, 2022
The efficiency didn't stay with no future since, in the course of, Murray disposed of Kyrgios in the semi-finals (7-6, 6-2) earlier than shedding narrowly, Sunday, in the remaining towards Matteo Berrettini (6 -4, 5-7, 6-3). This return to “grass” will permit him to search out the high 50 at the begin of subsequent week (he might be forty seventh) and marks the finish of a too lengthy absence for the native of Glasgow.
Small flashback. In 2016, Andy Murray regarded Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic straight in the eye. In this distant period, we have been speaking about the Big Four and Murray was even the better of the four since he ended this yr because of the first place in the world. Since then, the quartet has misplaced a member and, in the land of rock, Andy Murray will be thought of the fifth Beatles. The one who may have, who ought to have, shared the successes with others however who, the fault of destiny, let the prepare move.
Fate is exactly this hip damage that may progressively make him disappear from main occasions. The Scotsman is cussed, he hangs on however, worn out by operations, he publicizes his retirement from sport in 2019. He reconsiders his determination a number of months later, however he is aware of that the highway to regain his rank might be lengthy. From his rehabilitation room, he sees Nadal and Djokovic smash all the information, he sees a brand new technology tumble. But he doesn't see his return to the highest degree materialize.
Fallen to 68th place in the world earlier than Stuttgart, Murray is not scary as earlier than. But, for his zealots, it will appear that the Briton has by no means appeared so sharp as in latest weeks. The return of the recreation to its beloved turf and the proximity of Wimbledon are essentially not unrelated to this. Because it's on this floor that the Briton, now 35, can nonetheless do the most harm. No lengthy, body-crushing rallies, and grass that also matches (*50*) recreation completely.
Double winner in London (2013 and 2016), the Scotsman can all the time draw inspiration from the examples of Nadal and Djokovic who stay extremely environment friendly at 35 years outdated. However, whoever now performs with a metallic hip not needs to match himself to his ex-rivals. “My motivation is fueled by the love of sport”, he mentioned at the starting of June in Germany. Before referring to the victory, below infiltration, of the Spaniard in Paris: “My situation is a bit different from Nadal's, given the operation I had. I believe he plays to try to break records and win major events. You absolutely have to like it to overcome the pain when we get older, but i think it's easier to take the pain when you play for the biggest titles“.
And to conclude: “For me, the last four or five years have been very different from that: I played Challengers and my ranking went down. At the end of the day, I continue because I love the game and because I still think that I can compete at the highest level.“If his hip does not give way, the one who recalled the coach of his greatest hours, Ivan Lendl, to his side could well be the number 1 outsider at Wimbledon. His decision not to line up at Roland-Garros to better prepare “his” event displays this ambition.
“This year, I have already trained for three weeks on grass, without really having any physical problems that stop me in my preparation” he warned in Stuttgart. I performed numerous video games final week, and I hope for a number of extra in the subsequent two weeks…”