July 24, 2024
Andy Murray

Andy Murray faces a familiar opponent on Sunday (Martin Rickett/PA) (PA Archive)

Andy Murray, then world number one, lost an epic semi-final against Wawrinka in 2017 – a match which ultimately forced him into career-saving hip surgery.

Andy Murray’s French Open first-round draw brought back some painful memories as he recalled the day his hip was pushed to beyond the state of repair against Stan Wawrinka in 2017.

Murray, then world number one, lost an epic semi-final in five brutal sets in a match which ultimately forced him into undergoing career-saving surgery.

Seven years on the three-time grand slam winners, now with a combined age of 76 and three original hips between them, meet again at Roland Garros on Sunday.
“I remember before the quarter-final against Kei Nishikori that something wasn’t right,” said Murray.

“I’d had issues with my hip for a very long time and lost multiple matches from two sets to one up.
“As the longer matches were going on I was starting to have issues. Yeah, I remember during that match, the fifth set, feeling I was unable to move.

“I couldn’t sleep that night I was in so much pain. And yeah, my hip never recovered. It was a shame, yeah.”

Murray’s only match in Paris since that painful encounter was a one-sided loss to the same player four years ago – the 22nd meeting of their long, illustrious careers.

“As a pro the first time I played him I was 18, in the Davis Cup 2005,” added Murray.

“Then I obviously competed against him in some big matches over the years. It’s incredible that he’s still competing at the highest level at 39 years old and it’s great we get the opportunity to play each other again.

“It’s a good match for both of us. A pleasure to get to play against him in another slam.”

Andy Murray has made a surprise late-career decision to switch his racket, changing the HEAD one he has used since the start for one made by Yonex.

“Tennis is a strange sport for that, very few players make changes to their equipment,” explained the 37-year-old Scot, now fit again after an ankle injury.

“I’ve been on the Tour for 20-odd years and like most industries things change and it was something I wanted to try.

“I don’t want to finish my career thinking should I have given it a go to see if that could potentially have helped me, and I enjoyed the process, I tried lots of rackets.

“It was something to keep me occupied during the rehab and I found a racket I really liked. I think it was the right thing for me to try at this stage.”

Murray was wielding his new racket when he practised with fellow Brit Jack Draper on Friday.

“That just sums his character up, trying to find a difference, trying to find something that works,” said world number 35 Draper.

“When you speak to him about it it’s quite interesting. He talks about the golf, how they have different clubs and are always trying the new technology. He thinks tennis is a bit behind in that way.

“He believes he gets more out of the racket he’s currently using. Tennis is evolving, players with a lot more power and some of these guys have been on tour for a while using the same racket.
“It might have worked back then but some of these guys are getting more on their racket, being more powerful.

“It’s very strange, but he’s got a weird way of making things happen, doing weird things. Fair play to him.”

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