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The current state of play for Sir Andy Murray
The once-great Andy Murray now sits outside of the world’s top 100. He has won three Grand Slams during his career, reached the dizzy heights of World number 1, and been involved in some of the best tennis matches I’ve ever seen. He was a true gladiator back in the day, although as you may know, he has been plagued by injuries over the last few years.
The largest and most significant of all these surgeries was the complete hip resurface he underwent a few years back. He had hoped that this surgery would allow him to start playing again without pain, which it has, to some extent. But unquestionably, his injuries have hindered his movement around the court, the power on his strokes, and his ability to put in back-to-back grueling performances.
I’ve watched him closely over the last 12 months, and sadly, I don’t believe he can get back up there. I’ve no doubts at all that he can still play phenomenal tennis, and yes, I feel he can beat some of the top guys on his day. But it’s replication that I feel is the real problem, hence why I don’t feel he can get back to where he once was.
Reasons why …
Before I run through the three reasons why, I’d like to state that I would absolutely love Murray to prove me wrong! I’m a Murray fan, and his tennis is a joy to watch when he is on form. With that said, here are three major obstacles stopping him from reaching the same heights he had all those years ago:
At the highest level, the men’s game has never been so intense. Just look at matches like Nadal vs Djokovic at the 2021 French Open or Djokovic vs Zverev and the 2021 US Open! The brutality of the game is staggering, and I just don’t feel he can hang with those guys anymore – not over and over again anyway. It would just put too much pressure on his body, and eventually, physicality would be a major problem.
The toll of the tour
To get back to the top of the game, Murray would need to consistently perform at the highest level, week after week. This involves challenging matches against the world’s best at various levels, including 500’s, 1000’s, and of course, Grand Slams. He’s not a young man anymore, let’s face it. And while I don’t doubt that the motivation is there, playing so many tournaments would also take a huge toll on his body.
As with any sport, the circle of life is that the game’s greats eventually retire and fresh talent shines through. We’ve already witnessed these emerging talents in 2021, with guys like Alcaraz, Rublev, Medvedev, Musetti, and so many others. These guys play with such skill and intensity already, and they will only get better. In contrast, Murray will likely struggle to maintain such a level in the long run.