As Andy Murray prepares to rejoin the ATP tour and resume his attempts to rise to the top of the sport after hip surgery, the former world number one has detailed the frustration of enduring another year filled with setbacks and despair.
Six weeks ago in March, Murray suffered a “strange” groin injury at the Miami Open that he believed he sustained in the middle of the night. He was forced to retire and return to the increasingly tedious environment of injury rehab in London.
“It has been extremely frustrating,” says Murray. “I never expected things to be easy. When I had the hip operation I knew it was going to be incredibly challenging, I just feel like there are a couple of things that have happened this year that have been very unfortunate and difficult to accept, but I didn’t expect it. make it easy “.
Although more than two years have passed since Murray’s hip surgery, setbacks continue to mount. Murray had already been trying to reestablish his training pace in Miami after catching Covid-19 just days before he flew to the Australian Open.
“I’m trying to do something that hasn’t been done before. So I knew there would be challenges, but things have come up that have made it even more difficult. Since I returned, I have been at the NTC for 6 days a week and that is all I have done. I’m a little bored of doing that now, I want to go out and be around the best players and the best tournaments. I really want to go tomorrow and be among those guys and have a good months this summer, with Wimbledon and the Olympics. I feel good right now. “
The positive news for Murray is that the groin injury does not appear to be serious. After returning from Miami, a series of scans ruled out a problem related to torn joints or muscles. He has been able to train regularly and little by little he has become more comfortable.
“The last five or six days there has been a clear improvement. I have played points the last four days and there has been no residual pain upon waking. It’s not that I’ve lost weeks because I’ve been able to train practically all the time. “
And now it will try again. Murray is well aware that he needs a constant series of tournaments and he and his team are currently considering the possibility of playing a week and a week off. Today he will fly to Rome, where he has already lined up some practices with the best players as he seeks to rebuild his level. Murray will also meet former coach Mark Petchey in a relaxed manner.
“On Sunday I have a reserved court with [Diego] Schwartzmann and then Novak [Djokovic] in the afternoon and then try to order some more after that. I want to play against players of the highest level possible because I think that will help me improve my game faster. When you practice against the best, the things you need to improve on are better shown, the problems in my game. “
With his ranking now at 123, Murray’s schedule is unclear and he is at the mercy of the goodwill of the tournament directors. He will not compete in Rome, but will use it as a week for high-level training on red clay. He will hope to compete in ATP 250 events in Geneva or Rome and then, if Roland Garros decides not to award him a wild card for the main draw, he will settle for competing in the qualifying bracket.
Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of Murray’s staccato year so far is that it has been extremely difficult to know where his tennis really is. Murray insisted that he had been playing quality tennis during the offseason in his practice matches with Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans. From the little tennis he has shown this year, his movement and physical abilities have been really encouraging.
Most of your losses have been the result of poor form or an inability to maintain a constant level. It seems logical that a constant series of tournaments leads to improvements, but the question remains whether your body will allow you to do that.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism