After two battling wins, Andy Murray’s 2021 Wimbledon campaign came to an end on Friday. The two-time champion went down 4-6, 2-6, 2-6 to Canadian 10th seed Denis Shapovalov in the third round and was left wondering if all the effort was ‘worth it’.
The former World No. 1 has fought hard to come back to the court after undergoing hip resurfacing surgery in 2019, but he is still far from the level that took him three Grand Slam titles.
“There is a part of me that feels a bit like I have put in so much work the past three months and ultimately didn’t play how I would want and expect. It’s like, ‘Is it worth it?’” Murray said.
Until next time, @andy_murray.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) July 2, 2021
“Is all of that training and everything that you’re doing in the gym — unless you’re able to practise and improve your game and get matches and continue, get a run of tournaments — is it worth all of the work that you’re doing?”
It was a despondent moment after a difficult loss against one of the most dynamic young players on the ATP Tour. But he ended on a hopeful note.
“I keep getting asked is this going to be my last Wimbledon, last match. I don’t know why I keep getting asked about it,” said Murray, who was competing in men’s singles at Wimbledon for the first time since 2017.
“No, I’m going to keep playing. I want to play… I can still play at the highest level. He’s ranked 28th in the world and I haven’t hardly played any matches and I beat him.”
Murray had overcome No 24 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 and then fought back to a thrilling 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over Germany’s Oscar Otte earlier in the week.
“This week has been really good in some ways, but it’s been frustrating too. I played two long matches, and it’s really significantly more than anything I have done in the past six months,” the 34-year-old summarised.
“So if my game is not quite spot-on physically, I’m not perfect, or physically really fresh, it’s going to be hard for me. It’s extremely frustrating, because I feel like I put a lot of work into getting to this point, and then obviously to lose like that is tough.
“I’m not expecting and saying I would beat Denis Shapovalov. He’s a brilliant player. But I feel like I can do a lot better than what I did this evening.”