His right knee was bloodied from a brutal effort. With contrasting muscles. Sweat profusely under the retractable roof of Rod Laver Arena enclosed in the sweltering heat (exceeding 37 degrees). Breathing is disturbed and already without fuel in the body. Difficulty even smiling. Even with a hip replacement. But he is brilliant, driven by his love of tennis and his competitive spirit. Andy Murray, the Scottish gentleman, is one of the Fantastic Four Until injuries stopped him, he pulled off his biggest win in years and stunned everyone on the second day of the 2018 World Cup Australian Open. In the first round, he saved a match point against Matteo Berrettini (who is almost a decade younger than him and 50 places above him in the rankings) before emerging victorious 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-7 (7-9). ) and 7-6 (10-6), in an epic post that lasted nearly five hours.
It was worth a try, Murray thought out loud, remembering the dark times and appreciating the solid pre-season a few months ago in Boca Raton (USA). “There were times when I couldn’t put my shoes on myself. Because my hip hurts a lot and I really thought I was going to have to retire.” Brits admitted to LA NACION in June 2021. In January 2018, he underwent his first hip surgery. A year later, he returned to the operating room and underwent a zonal reconstruction, during which the joint was removed and replaced with an implant. He sought quality of life rather than athletic rehabilitation. However, little by little he surpassed the demons and his own expectations. A master strategist who is currently No. 66 in the world, he has defeated the top 20 again for the first time since Roland Garros 2017, long before receiving his first operation and contemplating retirement, as he announced – with tears – the 2019 Australian Open.
January 2019: Second hip surgery
In recent years I have questioned myself. “A lot of people have doubted my ability, if I can continue to perform at big events and at important games,” said Murray, 35. “And I want to say that I feel very proud of myself after the match. It’s not something I’ve usually felt over the years at the end of tennis matches.”Andy added the man who had to deal with the demands of the UK sporting public. History says today that he became the first British champion at Wimbledon in 77 years (in 2013; he repeated in 2016), since Fred Perry did it in 1936, but before his achievement he suffered stifling pressure. What’s more, before winning his first major slam, at the 2012 US Open, Murray lost four finals. Majors and contempt they treated him as a Scotsman if he lost and as a Briton if he won. In the midst of an unbreathable climate, Incorporating a legend like Ivan Lendl into his team, that before becoming a tennis champion he went through similar circumstances. The former No. 1 player, who today also guides him in Melbourne, was largely responsible for Murray’s emotional transformation.
“What a warrior you are, my friend! Thank you for showing that you never give up!” Juan Martin del Potro wrote to Murray on Twitter. The man from Tandil knows, as well as anyone else, that he has casualties, which is why he is attentive and appreciative of what the British achieve. “I’m usually hard on myself. But tonight I want to take some credit for myself Because the past few years have been difficult. I’ve lost a little bit of that guy in a Grand Slam, either, to (Stefanos) Tsitsipas [en la 1ª ronda del US Open 2021, en cinco sets] Or with (John) Isner at Wimbledon [2020, en cuatro parciales]. This match could have gone the other way, it’s true, but I stayed strong and deserved to win,” the 46-time champion celebrated. [el último en Amberes 2019].
Under the lights of the main court of the Australian Open (the match was played at a time when action on the outdoor courts was stopped due to the high temperatures; for a few hours there was only tennis on the indoor courts), Murray returned to being a chess player with a racket in the first two sets. He had a good time and taught Romano Berettini, last year’s 14th-place finisher and semi-finalist in Melbourne, a lesson. He moved wisely, neutralized the white-gloved Berrettini, used all the geometry of the court, excelled in the spin, and hit the Italian’s most vulnerable shot (backhand).
But Brittini, ranked world No. 6 in January last year, blasted his way into the third set with a laser beam serve, making fewer unforced errors and being punished with a forehand, one of the strongest rounds. In the fourth set, the level of the match reached glory: exchanges of all kinds were seen and the two looked like two boxers in the middle of an excited ring. In the fifth set, Murray made mistakes and Berrettini had a match point against the Scotsman’s serve, however, he did not take advantage of it and they reached the tie-break (up to ten points). In the tie-breaker, Murray had fortune that had not accompanied him during recent years of hardship and won a cinematic bout (his next opponent would be Italian Fabio Fognini or Australian Thansi Kokkinakis).
Murray, a five-time Australian finalist (in 2010 he fell to Roger Federer; in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016 to Novak Djokovic), against Berrettini achieved his 50th victory at Melbourne Park. Only four players in history have achieved as many or more successes in the first major tournament of the year (Federer, Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Stefan Edberg). The Dunblane-born tennis player was born out of gloom And fans of the art of racquets are grateful to enjoy one of the best representatives of the old guard.
“Where do I get the strength not to give up?” Murray heard Nation, several years ago. “You find the strength to keep going because you love the game. That’s my motivation and I think there’s always the feeling that you’re not ready to give up just yet.”
Recap of Murray’s big win in Australia
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