Andy Murray wins Antwerp
Andy Murray won Antwerp, continuing his comeback from hip surgery, claiming the ATP 250 title.
Only nine months after Murray announced he would retire at Wimbledon, the Brit claimed a first singles title since 2017.
Murray had been in pain with his hip for quite a while; he admits to at least two years. It was probably much longer. The signs of something had been present for a while, before the Brit finally admitted he had a problem.
The Brit last won a singles trophy in Dubai in 2017. That ATP 500 event saw Murray defeated Fernando Verdasco in straight sets. It was to be the last singles tournament the Brit would win for two years.
French Open vs Wawrinka
The French Open semifinal against Stan Wawrinka is when the Brit acknowledged that he first encountered the hip problem. An epic five set match that the Swiss won in the final set appeared to be the start of the end.
Murray struggled after that match. The Brit was not enjoying his tennis, he was playing in pain. His home life was effected, unable to even tie his shoes without being in pain. It was no way to live.
Something had to change, at the young age of 32 and in constant pain Murray had to make a decision. Keep on playing until his body ultimately failed, or take action and get out of pain.
Murray chose the latter. Undoing the same hip resurfacing operation as Bob Bryan in January, the Brit updated in March that he was out of pain and was hoping to return to the game he loved.
Roll forward to the grass season. Murray once again followed in the footsteps of doubles specialist Bob Bryan. The Brit has a lifetime commitment to the ATP event at the Queens Club. Murray kept the promise of playing, as he entered and won the doubles event with Feliciano Lopez.
The Brit also played doubles and mixed doubles at Wimbledon before calling time on that side of his tennis. Murray took some time away to train and announced he would not play at the US Open. He wanted to return to singles action.
Taking to the singles court in Cincinnati the Brit lost in the first round, but continued the comeback trail. After also losing in the first round in Winston-Salem some wondered if the Brit would ever make a successful comeback on the singles circuit.
Proving the doubters wrong
Dropping down to the Challenger circuit, Murray continued in the singles comeback. Making steady progress but losing in the third round. The Brit then moved back to the main tour, and the Asian swing.
Murray won matches, but not did not get to the finals. The Brit however, may not have made the final, but lost to the eventual tournament winner. With his wife expecting their third child, Murray made the decision to enter the event at Antwerp.
The Brit knew that he may have to drop everything to be at the birth, so the short hop from Belgium made sense. No one really expected Murray to progress to the final, let alone win the event.
Murray was out to prove everyone wrong again! Battling through matches, dispatching the seeded players who are now ranked higher than him. The Brit made the final to face an old foe
Fittingly, the final was against Wawrinka again. As it was that match at the US Open that caused them both problems, since when both have required surgery to overcome. Wawrinka was on top for the first set and a half. Murray, doesn’t go down without a fight. From a set and a break down the Brit went on to claim the trophy.
Understandably, Murray was overcome with emotion. Breaking down in tears on his chair after the match it was clear how much this meant to the Brit. Enjoying his tennis again, pain free and winning titles, the tears were justified.
Andy Murray won Antwerp. The Brit is back.
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