Sir Andrew Barron Murray, born on May 15, 1987, in Scotland. He was called to be a British tennis legend and he definitely met expectations. But nobody knows how far he would have gone without having his serious hip injury. Now, he is healthy again and people may wonder if Andy Murray will be able to claim his place in tennis in 2021.
Andy Murray: His Career Highlights
Murray is well known for his huge talent to play tennis. He could be able to play tennis with a frying pan. And despite playing in the same era as “The Big Three,” he was able to challenge them on many occasions.
He has won 46 ATP singles titles, including 3 Grand Slams, 14 Masters 1000 events, 1 ATP World Tour Finals, and 2 Olympic Gold Medals. So, he is one of the most complete players in tennis history when it comes to the diversity of titles. Many tennis legends could envy his record.
But he was stopped by a hip injury in June 2017 when he was at the top of the rankings. Murray was forced to withdraw from an exhibition match at the Hurlingham Club and two weeks later he lost to Sam Querrey in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. From that moment on, that hip injury became a nightmare for Murray. He is been struggling for almost 2 years and a half to beat this tough opponent.
Andy Murray: His Unfinished Business
We all know his story. But what sets Murray apart from the rest of the players who were affected by injuries is that he was the World #1 when he was forced to take a break from tennis.
Murray played at his peak level in 2016. He won nine singles titles, including Wimbledon, three Masters 1000, the ATP Finals, and the Olympic Gold Medal. His dominance was pretty clear, surpassing Novak Djokovic at the top of the ATP Rankings on 7 November 2016.
Despite his early loss at the Australian Open 2017 against Mischa Zverev, he was the World #1 and the defending champion in Wimbledon 2017. The hip injury appeared just when he was at this best and that’s his unfinished business.
He needs to reach again a high level of tennis and demonstrate to himself that he can be the player he once was. As in the case of Juan Martín Del Potro, his fighting spirit and mental strength are his best allies.
Will Andy Murray Claim His Place in Tennis?
2021 season will start in some weeks and there are many unknowns surrounding Andy Murray’s performance. Will he be able to fight for the big titles?
Currently, he is still not playing at his best but the circumstances are not helping him either. Coming back from a serious injury is always a slow process. Once you are healthy and fully recovered you need to play many matches to get used again to the competition. But the pandemic issues are not helping Murray to be competitive again.
The long break from March to August affected all the players, but for Murray was even worse. He needed to recharge his confidence again and he wasn’t able to do it. Thus, in 2020 he couldn’t win any title.
It’s true that right now there is a bit of uncertainty around his level in the Australian Open 2021. It is probably too soon for Murray to win a big title at the beginning of the year, but there are reasons to be optimistic.
In 2019 he was able to win the European Open against Stan Wawrinka, being his first ATP singles title after the injury. He only needed to play during some months to feel confident and competitive again. Thus, if there are no big breaks during the 2021 season and Murray is able to play normally, he could be one of the contenders to win Wimbledon.
As we all know, the grass is probably his best surface. And right now only Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, as two main favorites, are at the top of their capabilities to fight for the title. Roger Federer’s level is also a mystery and none of the young guns have shown a high level in the grass yet.
Therefore, Wimbledon could be his best chance in 2021 to win a big title again. Maybe then Andy Murray will claim his place in tennis and the British legend will resurrect. For the moment, his journey will begin at the Delray Beach Open 2021.
Main Photo from Getty.