It was a small event, Friday, June 10, that almost went unnoticed. Tucked away between the agape of Rafael Nadal’s celebration at Roland-Garros and the frustration of some players who plagued the non-distribution of points at Wimbledon, Andy Murray’s victory at the expense of Stefanos Tsitsipas, in the quarter-finals of the tournament. Stuttgart, however marked an important date. It was indeed the first time, since the 2016 Masters final won against Novak Djokovic, that the British beat a player ranked in the top 5 in the world!
Andy Murray + grass = magic
– ATP Tour (@atptour) June 10, 2022
The performance did not rest without the next day since, in the fray, Murray had Kyrgios in the semi-finals (7-6, 6-2) before leaning back on Sunday, in the final against Matteo Berrettini (6 -4, 5-7, 6-3). Take back the “grass” and retrouver in the top 50 early in the semaine prochaine (in sera 47e) and sign the fin d’une trop longue absence for the natif of Glasgow.
Little flashback. In 2016, Andy Murray mentioned droit ats les yeux Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. In that recurring era, there was talk of the Big Four and Murray was even the best of the four since he finished this year gracefully in world number one. Since then, the quartet has lost a member and, in the land of rock, Andy Murray could be considered as the fifth Beatles. The one who could, who should have, share the success with others but who, the fault in destiny, let the train pass.
Destiny, it is precisely this injury to the hip that is going to make big appointments gradually disappear. The Scotsman is of the opinion that he is crouching but, used by operations, he announces his sporting retirement in 2019. He returns to his decision a few months later, but he knows the road to finding his rank will be long. From his rehabilitation room, he sees Nadal and Djokovic breaking all records, he sees a new generation emerging. But he does not see his return to the highest level become concrete.
Returned to 68th place in the world ahead of Stuttgart, Murray is no longer as scared as before. But, for his zealots, it would seem that the British have never been as drowsy as they have been in recent weeks. The return of the game on its beloved field and the proximity of Wimbledon are not forcibly foreign. Because it is on this surface that the British, now 35 years old, can still do the most damage. No long thrilling rallies for the body, and a herb that still adapts perfectly to Murray’s game.
Double winner in London (2013 and 2016), Scotland can always be inspired by the examples of Nadal and Djokovic who remain unquestionably performing at 35 years old. However, the one who now plays with a metal hook no longer wants to be compared to his ex-rivals. “My motivation is fueled by a love of sport”, he said in early June in Germany. Before making reference to the victory, under infiltrations, of the Spanish in Paris: “My situation is a bit different from Nadal’s, seeing the operation I had. I believe he plays to try to break records and win major events. You absolutely have to love it to overcome the pain when we’re old, but I think it’s easier to bear the pain when we 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 has dropped. In the end, I continue because I love the game and because I always think that I can compete at a higher level.“If his back doesn’t move, the one who reminded his senior coach Ivan Lendl could very well be the No. 1 outsider at Wimbledon. His decision not to align with Roland-Garros to better prepare “anak” tournament translates 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. “ whether he was detained at Stuttgart. I had a lot of matches last week, and I’m still hoping for a few more in the next two weeks … “