Murray: ’It’s Been Amazing That I’ve Been Able To Get Back'
The Scot has fallen to Top 10 stars Hubert Hurkacz, Casper Ruud and Alexander Zverev since the US Open, before being edged by Diego Schwartzman in Antwerp. However, the former World No. 1 won a mammoth three-hour 45-minute classic against Frances Tiafoe in his opener at the European Open and believes he is moving in the right direction.
“It has been better. From the grass season to the US Open, I played well,” Murray said. “I played better tennis at the US Open. Since then, it has been consistently better each week. It has not been perfect, but most of the matches I have had chances and opportunities in, which certainly wasn’t the case in the grass season and some of the matches I played before the US Open. I have had some decent wins and some tight matches with some top players."
Murray has been working his way back to top form since he underwent hip surgery in 2019. The former World No. 1 has won the title in Antwerp since then and has secured impressive victories against players such as World No. 4 Alexander Zverev.
“It has been amazing that I have been able to even get back and be playing," Murray said. "Some of the results I have had, some will go ‘Oh he’s not winning enough against top players or he should be doing better’. But I shouldn’t be doing better than what I am with the situation with my body and what I have been through.
“I don’t think there are many players who would be able to compete with the top five players with a metal hip. I am proud of myself for putting myself in a position to compete with those guys. But ultimately if I want to get back to somewhere close to the level I was at before I need to be winning those matches.”
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Murray has fond memories in Vienna, having won the title at the ATP 500 event in 2014 and 2016. The wild card will begin his campaign against Hurkacz, against whom he lost in Cincinnati and Metz this season.
“I need to be a bit more clinical and ruthless when my opportunities come,” Murray said. “That was one of the things when I was right at the top of the game was a strong part of my game and I need to get back to that. When my opportunities come, I am going to take them and be clinical. Finish those sets off when you get ahead and not think that more chances are going to come along because when you play the top players, you don’t get loads.”
The World No. 172 will be joined by countryman Cameron Norrie in Vienna. The 26-year-old won his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells, cracking the Top 20 of the FedEx ATP Rankings with his victory.
Murray heaped praise on the British No. 1, who is 10th in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin as he bids to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals.
“Cameron Norrie has had a fantastic season and has done really well,” Murray said. “I don’t think he had ever made it to the quarter-finals of a Masters series before, so to come through and win it is a brilliant result for him and great for British tennis. If I finish tomorrow, I would feel comfortable that British tennis would be in a good spot."