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“To my expertise, none of the players performed on grass last 12 months, on account of the pandemic,” he says. “And one of the most years I gained Wimbledon, I pulled out of the French Open and gave myself extra time to prepare on grass.” He pauses. “I’m now not asserting the result might be the same!”
Wimbledon is Andy Murray’s enviornment and fortress, the area the place the British public obtained to know him and discovered, after a long time, to like him. Originally, he became labelled a brat – too shouty on courtroom, too explosive. But after he misplaced a four-set final to Federer in 2012, and cried afterwards, the general public took him to its coronary heart.
With then female friend Kim Sears and his fogeys, being made an OBE in 2013. Image: John Stillwell/AFP/Getty pictures
A yr later, of route, he in reality won; and from then, he pushed himself tougher and tougher. In 2015, he led top notch Britain to their first Davis Cup win in 79 years and in 2016 he landed 9 titles, fitting the primary male player to win a grand slam (his 2d Wimbledon title), a Masters a thousand event (he gained three), the ATP finals and Olympic gold in twelve months. He was ranked world no 1 in men’s singles, gained activities personality of the 12 months, and changed into knighted.
And he accomplished all this with an underlying hip niggle that grew to become an enormous difficulty after a gruelling suit in Wimbledon 2017 against Sam Querrey. He rested it, nonetheless it didn’t assist. Not handiest could he now not play tennis; he couldn’t even walk. He was the realm number 1 and he couldn’t put his socks on. So in early January 2018, he had an operation on his hip, which removed a ligament, repaired damaged cartilage, scraped out some irritation. He embarked on months of lonely rehab together with his small crew (two physios, one educate). But it didn’t work. Through August 2018, he was in floods of tears on court. He’d simply overwhelmed Marius Copil in Washington, however he become in affliction. He sat in his chair, lined his face with a towel and sobbed. “I think like here’s the end,” he noted. A few months later, at the press convention in Australia, it actually changed into.
After profitable in Washington in 2018, Murray sobbed, ‘I consider like here is the end.’ graphic: Andrew Harnik/AP
“i used to be achieved with tennis,” he says today. “i used to be getting no enjoyment out of it.” His dad thought he’d be satisfied at home along with his youngsters; his mum wasn’t so sure. And shortly after, he all started gaining knowledge of veteran player Bob Bryan, who’d had hip resurfacing; possibly he may do the identical? Best just a few weeks later, at the end of January 2019, Murray did precisely that. His healing was surprising: no longer best may he walk, he may play tennis. The excruciating ache had gone.
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It’s now not ideal, however it works. “When it comes to your body, it’s been used to moving in a undeniable method for a very long term,” he says. “So in case you change it via placing a little of metal in there, it’s going to alternate your circulation, and put stresses and strains on different parts of your physique. So I knew it changed into going to be difficult. There’s some imbalances in the biomechanics. But yes, it felt first rate.” by way of the spring of 2019, he changed into taking part in once more. He won doubles at Queen’s with Feliciano López. The Wimbledon where he turned into going to retire, he performed combined doubles with Serena Williams and received to the third round. He was returned.
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