June 14, 2024
Andy Murray

Andy Murray is scheduled to make his return to competition from a significant ankle injury later this month at the Geneva Open.

On Wednesday morning the Geneva Open announced that Murray had taken a wildcard into the ATP 250 event, which begins on 19 May, only a week before the start of the Roland Garros main draw begins in Paris.

Andy Murray has not competed since he ruptured his ankle ligament late in his third-round match at the Miami Open against Tomas Machac. After an extremely difficult start to the season, the 36-year-old had just begun to find some form in Miami, winning back to back matches for the first time in 2024 during that week. Against Machac, he was in the process of a dramatic comeback, recovering from 2-5 down in the third set to 5-5 just as he hurt his ankle.

Despite being able to finish the match and sign autographs afterwards, even coming within two points of winning the match in a decisive tie-break, Murray was diagnosed with a ruptured anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) and calcaneofibular ligament (CFL).

The injuries put Murray’s retirement plans under serious threat, with the possibility that he might have had to undergo surgery and face an even longer layoff. After consulting numerous experts, though, Murray opted not to have surgery. He has spent the past six months rehabilitating the injury and in recent weeks he began to train on clay.

Murray has competed at Roland Garros only once in 2020 since he began to suffer from serious hip problems, but he is keen to return to the tournament, where he was a finalist in 2016, one last time. He plans to contest most of the remaining big events, including the Paris Olympics, which will also be held at Roland Garros before his retirement. After Paris, assuming his ankle continues to hold up well, Murray will head back to the UK for his final appearances at Wimbledon and Queen’s.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal says he continues to make positive progress as he attempts to be physically prepared to compete at Roland Garros later this month.

After being off the tour for most of the past 16 months due to a variety of difficult injuries, Nadal returned last month with a second round loss in Barcelona. While Nadal was downbeat ahead of the Madrid Open two weeks ago, having won three matches in Madrid and enjoying three weeks of training and matches without any major physical setback, he appeared to be much more optimistic about his progress on Wednesday.

“In a general perspective, the line is going up, without a doubt,” said Nadal of his improvements. “So yeah, happy to be today where I am because one month ago for me was almost impossible to think that I will be able to play in Barcelona, then in Madrid, and now being here in Rome. Things are happening. Is true that I was able to accept the challenge, accept that some moments I was not able to push the way that I wanted to push.”

Rafael Nadal continued: “My feelings are better always. In terms of tennis, too. Why not? I am here to try my best. Tomorrow is a start. All the matches are tough for me today and difficult and more unpredictable than what the matches used to be for me, especially on clay. I accept that role. I accept that challenge. I am excited about the way that I can be able to play if I keep working the proper way and my body allow me.”

Unseeded in Rome, Nadal will face the qualifier Zizou Bergs on Thursday with a potential second round match ahead against Hubert Hurkacz, the ninth seed. This tournament also marks the first time in 16 months, since last year’s Australian Open, that Nadal and Novak Djokovic will compete in the same tournament. Djokovic, the top seed in Rome, opted to skip Madrid and in recent weeks he has made changes to his team. He is currently in Madrid with Nenad Zimonjic, Djokovic’s former Davis Cup teammate and a former world doubles No 1.

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