back in the Top 50 four years later … Andy Murray, the fattening patient

It’s a small event, Friday, June 10, that almost went unnoticed. Trapped between the celebration of Rafael Nadal at Roland-Garros and the discontent of some players facing the non-distribution of points at Wimbledon, the victory of Andy Murray at the expense of Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals of the tournament Stuttgart, however, set an important date. In fact, it was the first time, since the 2016 Masters final, that he won against Novak Djokovic, that the Briton beat a player ranked in the top 5 in the world!

The performance was not without its future, as in the process, Murray eliminated Kyrgios in the semifinals (7-6, 6-2) before losing on Sunday in the final against Matteo Berrettini (6 – 4, 5). -7, 6-3). This return to the grass will allow him to return to the top 50 early next week (he will be 47th) and marks the end of an absence that is too long for the Glasgow native.

Small flashback. In 2016, Andy Murray looked Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic straight in the eye. In this remote era, we were talking about the Big Four and Murray was even the best of the four since he finished this year thanks to the world’s top spot. Since then, the quartet has lost a member, and in the land of rock, Andy Murray can be considered the fifth Beatles. What could have been, who should have shared the successes with others but who, because of fate, let the train pass.

Fate is precisely this hip injury that will make him disappear from the big events. The Scot is stubborn, endures but, tired of operations, announces his retirement from the sport in 2019. He reconsiders his decision a few months later, but knows that the road to regaining his rank will be long. From his rehab room, he sees Nadal and Djokovic break all records, he sees a new generation fall. But he does not see his return to the highest level.

Falling to 68th place in the world before Stuttgart, Murray is no longer as scary as before. But for his fans, it looks like the British have never looked as sharp as in recent weeks. The return of the game to its beloved turf and the proximity of Wimbledon are not necessarily alien to this. Because it is on this surface that the Briton, now 35, can do even more harm. There are no long rallies and body and grass crushers that still fit perfectly into Murray’s game.

Double winner in London (2013 and 2016), the Scot can always be inspired by the examples of Nadal and Djokovic who are still incredibly efficient at 35 years old. However, who now plays with a metal hip no longer wants to be compared to his former rivals. “My motivation is fueled by a love of sports,” said in early June in Germany. Before referring to the victory, under infiltration, of the Spaniard in Paris: “My situation is a little different from Christmas, given the operation they did on me. I think he plays to try to break records and win big events. You have to like him absolutely to overcome the pain when we grow up. but I think it’s easier to endure the pain when you play the major titles“.

And to conclude: “For me, the last four or five years have been very different from that: I’ve played Challengers and my ranking has gone down. At the end of the day, I’m still because I love the game and the highest level.“If his hip does not give in, what reminded him of the coach of his big hours, Ivan Lendl, could be Wimbledon’s No. 1 outsider. His decision not to line up at Roland-Garros for Better preparing for “your” tournament reflects that ambition.

This year I have been training on the grass for three weeks, without really having any physical problems that prevent me from preparing. “ warned Stuttgart. I played a lot of games last week, and I hope there will be a few more in the next two weeks … “

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