The draw for the 2020 French Open at Roland Garros threw up an interesting re match. Andy Murray, with a wild card, drew Stan Wawrinka–a throwback to the 2017 semifinal which was an epic five set match. The Swiss got the better of the Brit on that day.
Andy Murray vs Stan Wawrinka
Both players gave their all that day back June 2017. The Brit was the top seed and Wawrinka was third seed. As expected the first set was a huge battle between the pair. Murray took the set on a tiebreak. Wawrinka managed to break the top seed in the next set and leveled up the match.
The next two sets were extremely close. Murray took the third by breaking the Swiss, leaving one more set to reach the French Open final for the second year in a row. Set four was a tough fight just like the first, this time it was the Swiss who took the tiebreak. A one set shootout would decide who would face Rafael Nadal in the final.
Wawrinka pushed on in the final set, whilst Murray unfortunately faded. The Swiss went on to win the final set 6-1 and lost in the final to the King of Clay in straight sets.
There was no doubt that both players left everything on the court. The Swiss damaged his knee and would eventually go on to have surgery to correct it. For Murray however, it was the match that very nearly ended his career. The Brit has stated on his Instagram account that this was the match that ruined his hip.
Murray needed two hip surgeries as things gradually got worse for him. He was not able to put on his socks and shoes without being in pain. The Brit was in agony just in everyday life. It reached the stage where Murray announced he would retire at Wimbledon.
However, after defeat in the first round of the Australian Open in 2019 it looked likely that would be his last ever match. Murray went ahead and had a resurfacing operation, the same one that Bob Bryan had. Murray wasn’t sure if he would ever play tennis again, but the main objective was to get out of pain.
Following the Bryan method, Murray began his comeback in doubles, before finally towards the end of the 2019 season getting back on the singles court. The whole of his journey to try and resolve the hip problem and finally fix it so that he was pain free was documented on Amazon Prime
Neither Wawrinka or Murray had anything easy following on from that match in 2017; it can be said that the Brit came off the worst of them with everything that followed. Both are back playing, and will face off again in the French Open in the first round. It’s been a long three and a half years.
Picking a winner will be tricky, neither has played much in 2020 and although the Swiss has already played on the clay this year, he lost in the first round in Rome. It’s also fitting that the venue that saw them actually physically break each other, will see their clay court comeback. Unfortunately, only one of them can win.
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