Andy Murray will play his first competitive tennis singles match in over six months, when he takes on Frenchman Richard Gasquet at the Cincinatti Masters later today (Monday August 12, 2019).
It was at the Australian Open in January where Murray lost his opening round match – subsequently breaking down over grave doubts that his career could be over, following ongoing health problems pertaining to his hip. Murray went so far as to announce he would likely be retiring from tennis – but he underwent a hip resurfacing surgery in London at the end of January as a likely final attempt to end the pain preventing him from playing tennis to his exceptionally high standards.
The operation was a success and whilst Murray was not able to compete in the Men’s Singles at Wimbledon, he did play in both the Men’s and Mixed doubles tournaments.
But Murray has deemed himself fit and confident enough to play in the Cincinnati Masters, where he accepted a Wildcard invitation to the event, and spoke about his current state and build up to playing competitive singles tennis again : “At some stage you have to take the step to try and play. The quickest way to get up to speed is by being on the practice and match court with top players. I’m not expecting to move as well I used to, but I think I can move better than I am now. That will take some time since I only started playing singles a couple of weeks ago.”
Murray has seen his World Ranking plummet to #325 – which will not be of concern to him in isolation, but will certainly use this event to gauge exactly where he is at in his recovery. Gasquet will be a test for him in itself – but with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic also in the field, Murray will potentially get the ultimate test of his game.
The final Grand Slam event of 2019 – the US Open – may come around too quickly for Murray to enter the Singles event there – but he will be eyeing the 2020 tour will added interest and vigour if he can continue his comeback, with this event being the first step on a long road, should he wish to add to the 3 Grand Slam titles he holds, and looks to break the strangle hold on the Mens game that Djokovic, Federer and Nadal currently have.
He has done it once before – it would be fantastic to see him do it again.
ANDY MURRAY – GRAND SLAM TITLES
- 2012 US OPEN – beat Novak Djokovic 7-6, 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2
- 2013 WIMBLEDON – beat Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5, 6-4
- 2016 WIMBLEDON – beat Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6, 7-6