Murray Back on the Grind
Posted on October 01 2018
The glitz and glamour of the Laver Cup has been the focal point of tennis this past week, but for Andy Murray it’s been all about the grind as he chases valuable points in Shenzhen, China.
The three time Grand Slam Champion has had a torrid time with injuries over the past few seasons which has seen him drop out of the world’s top 200, meaning a tough fight to work his way back to the top. While his star power, and undoubted ability ensure that he will not be short of wildcard offers, the Scott will have to work hard to come through the latest test of his fitness.
As the Laver Cup has been dominated by pictures of a Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic bromance, and Rafael Nadal recovers from injury after a gruelling run through the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open, Murray has been back to basics, getting match practice, and gaining world ranking points.
For someone who was a legitimate, and hugely successful member of “The Big Four,” a trip to China, whilst everyone revels in the Laver Cup might not seem like much fun. Aged 31, and having achieved so much in the game, many could be forgiven for deciding they weren’t up for the fight back and would rather hang up their racket.
That however, is simply not Andy Murray, and there are few better suited for a scrap back to the top. Though it will be important for Murray to work his way back to the top relatively quickly, the most important thing will be the match practice, and to be able to reassure himself that his body will hold up under the pressures of intense tennis.
Murray first attempted his comeback from his troublesome hip injuries during the grass court season, playing at Queen’s Club where he put in a performance that belied his lack of playing time to almost beat Nick Kyrgios. However, he decided his body was not ready for the rigours of a Grand Slam, and so was forced to wait a while longer on the sideline.
Since pulling out of Wimbledon, Murray perhaps hasn’t managed the number of matches he would have liked. After an excellent run to the quarterfinals of the Washington Open in August, he was forced to withdraw due to too quicker turnaround between matches. He then suffered a first round loss in the Cincinnati Masters, before exiting in the second round of the US Open.
And so, Murray finds himself in Shenzhen, where he is seeking invaluable match play in what he will no doubt see as a build up to the Australian Open in January.
Murray recorded a first-round victory against Chinese wildcard, Zhang Zhizhen, winning the first 6-3 before losing the second 7-6, with Zhizhen eventually retiring whilst 4-2 down in the deciding set. In the second round, he faced Belgian number 1 seed, David Goffin, who provided Murray with an excellent opportunity to show just where his game is at. The signs were good as Murray came through 6-3 6-4 in an excellent win. He now progresses to the quarterfinals where he will face Fernando Verdasco.
The feisty Scott is known for his gutsy determination, and this has been evident in his bid to come back from injuries. While you would question whether some people have the heart to battle back to top at the age of 31, with Murray you never had any doubt.
One of the wonderful things about seeing Murray during this period is that it is evident just how much he loves the game. It doesn’t matter if it’s Grand Slam finals, or first-round matches against qualifiers, the man loves tennis, and was born for the fight.
We’re looking forward to seeing Murray make it back to the very top, and making a big run at the Australian Open.