Andy Murray’s bid to return to the top of the game appears to have failed, but the three-time Grand Slam champion admits he still has glory ahead of him.
That may explain why the two-time Wimbledon champion continues to play in the game despite falling far short of the standards required to compete for the biggest titles in tennis.
Despite losing to Italian qualifier Andrea Vavasori in the opening round of the Madrid Open, Murray says he still believes he can win another Wimbledon title.
The upset Scot’s 6-2 7-6 (7) defeat at Player 164 equaled the worst run of his professional career with four consecutive defeats.
Murray was so disappointed with his performance against Alex de Minaur in Monte Carlo two weeks ago that he suggested he may sit out the rest of the clay season.
He settled against that but it was another disappointing result, the only positive being how Murray got into the match in the second set.
«It wasn’t good,» he told reporters in the Spanish capital. Towards the end I started to play a bit better but the start was slow. He played well early on, and is serving big. Some of the errors are difficult to explain.
Murray lost the first four games and began to crumble early in the second round against 27-year-old qualifier Vavasori, who is in the prime of his career.
The Italian was playing well but Murray was making too many unforced errors and couldn’t make any headway on his opponent’s serve.
In the eighth game, he broke Vavasorin for the first time and took advantage of his opponent’s nerves to save four points in the final with two straight volleys.
A miss from the top of the net at 6-6 defied belief, and Murray said: «Obviously everybody misses bad shots in their career, but I don’t have that many.»
It is the first time since 2019, when his hip problems worsened, leading to a four-match losing streak and reaching the third round in the Spanish capital last year, the 2013 and 2016 Wimbledon champions are set to fall. Back from the 60’s.
One of the 35-year-old’s main goals on clay was to improve his ranking in a bid to seed for Wimbledon, and things are clearly not going the way he had hoped.
Murray is still considering playing at the French Open, adding: “When I feel fit and healthy, I want to give it a go.
But I also have ambitions to compete for Wimbledon titles and things like that and I know sitting here today probably doesn’t seem like a reality, but I believe it’s possible.
Murray’s claim that he could be a contender at Wimbledon in July, who has struggled to reach the final stage of the event since his run to the final of the grass-court tournament in Stuttgart last summer, will raise many eyebrows.
After a string of injury problems, it looks like reality will have to hit Andy Murray soon as his tennis career ends and that moment could come at Wimbledon in July.
LookDominic Thiem beat Kyle Edmund in the first round of the Madrid Open