Andy Murray: 'Going In The Right Direction'
Andy Murray’s comeback keeps getting better and better, reaching his first singles semi-final since returning in Cincinnati on Friday at the European Open. But less than two months ago, the Scot was not the most confident.
He lost his third-round match at an ATP Challenger Tour event held in Mallorca the same week of the first round of the US Open, and was concerned about where his level — on the court and with his body — stood.
“Those couple of weeks after that obviously I put some work in, but I felt like I was quite far from this level. Spoke to my team quite a lot about that and I was a bit down after I lost in the Challenger because I felt like I could have done better there and was probably expecting myself to do a little bit better,” Murray said. “Physically I was really tired after the matches there.”
The Scot, who underwent hip surgery after the Australian Open, has slowly rounded into form since. Murray earned the first tour-level singles win of his return in Zhuhai, made the quarter-finals in Beijing, and has now won three matches this week in Antwerp.
“It’s just difficult [in] tennis, because you don’t get the opportunity to just come in and play one set like you might in other sports and build up your fitness by playing a little bit longer each time,” Murray said. “You need to get it through playing matches and maybe at that stage I just wasn’t quite ready physically for long matches. But now obviously my body’s getting a little bit more used to it and coping fairly well.”
If Murray is to capture his first title in nearly three years, he will have to win four matches in four days. He is halfway there after defeating Pablo Cuevas on Thursday and Marius Copil on Friday. On Saturday, he will face fifth seed Guido Pella or #NextGenATP Frenchman Ugo Humbert.
“That will be the first time I’ve played three days in a row of singles,” Murray said. “Although the match was long tonight, physically it wasn’t that draining because there were quite a lot of quick points, on his service games especially.”
The good news for Murray is that the more he is playing, the more he is winning. And now it's a matter of continuing to build back towards his best.
“Things obviously are going in the right direction and I feel like I’m hitting the ball better from the back of the court,” Murray said. “I just need to improve the serving, and if I do that then I’ll give myself a lot of chances in matches.”