Injury-plagued Andy Murray is back to winning ways after he overcame a one-set deficit to beat Robin Haase 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-3 in their first round match at the ATP 500 Rotterdam Open.
The former World No 1 has been on the upswing after losing a considerable amount of time due to hip surgeries. Murray first took time away from the sport back in 2017 after he lost in the Wimbledon quarterfinal to Sam Querrey.
He returned 11 months later in June 2018. But by the 2019 Australian Open, he declared that the Grand Slam may well be his last as a player.
However, he underwent another hip surgery and returned in August that year, ranked 324. That’s when he began the process to climb back up the ranking ladder.
The 33-year-old was expected to compete in Melbourne this year as well, but by testing positive for the virus just a week before he was scheduled to travel, he was not allowed to. Instead he competed at a Challenger in Biella, Italy, losing out in the final to Illya Marchenko.
He then lost in the first round to Egor Gerasimov at the ATP 250 event in Montpellier. But by beating Haase, he’s finally off the mark on the ATP Tour-level this year.
Brimming with self-belief
Once a member of tennis’ Big 4 – along with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic – the three-time Grand Slam champion is currently ranked 123rd in the world.
But he insisted, in an interview after his match, that he still belongs among the best players in the world. That is his greatest motivation.
“I still believe I can compete with the best players,” he said.
— Rena (@_irenka23_) March 1, 2021
“That is why I am still doing it. If I didn’t feel that way, I probably would not be motivated to do all the training and travelling.
“Once I don’t believe that that’s the case anymore, then I will not keep playing. But I still think I can.”
Murray will next take on the winner of the match between qualifier Marcos Giron and fourth seed Andrey Rublev.