Andy Murray admits it’s ‘amazing’ he’s even back playing with metal hip

Andy Murray and Ash Barty pay tribute to each other

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Andy Murray has admitted that it’s “amazing” he’s playing with a metal hip, let alone competing with those in the top five of the world. The Brit is preparing to face Hubert Hurkacz for the third time in just over two months at the Erste Bank Open as he looks to get some extra match wins under his belt before the end of the season.

Murray’s comeback has been gaining momentum in recent months.

The three-time Grand Slam champion underwent a hip resurfacing surgery to have a metal joint put in his troublesome hip back in 2019.

After getting on track by winning his first singles title post-surgery at the European Open in 2019, the Brit has spent the last couple of years halted by injury niggles, a bout of Covid and even the birth of his fourth child.

The current world No 156 has enjoyed some good results in his recent tournaments, making it to the third round of Wimbledon and pushing third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas to five sets at the US Open.

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He also made it to his first quarter-final in 13 months at the recent Moselle Open and has scored impressive wins in his last two tournaments.

Murray played Indian Wells for the first time in more than four years, beating then world No 51 Adrian Mannarino in the first round and scoring what he said was one of the best wins of his comeback over 30th seed Carlos Alcaraz.

The former world No 1 has previously voiced his frustration at being unable to win close matches with top young players, and came from a set down to defeat the 18-year-old Spaniard 5-7 6-3 6-2 before losing to world No 4 Alexander Zverev in two tight sets.

Murray also got revenge on top 50 player Frances Tiafoe last week in Antwerp, beating the 23-year-old in what he said was the “longest three-set match of [his] career” 7-6(2) 6-7(7) 7-6(8), two months after losing to the American in Winston-Salem.

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He then lost a round later to Diego Schwartzman, and has been critical of himself after defeats, admitting he wanted to win matches rather than “play well and lose”.

The 34-year-old has now cut himself some slack and admitted that it’s “amazing” he is still playing with a metal hip.

“It has been amazing that I have been able to even get back and be playing,” Murray said, arriving in Vienna for the recent ATP 500.

“Some of the results I have had, some will go ‘Oh he’s not winning enough against top players or he should be doing better’. But I shouldn’t be doing better than what I am with the situation with my body and what I have been through.”

The former world No 1, who is facing fifth seed Hurkacz for the third time since August at the Erste Bank Open, praised his ability to still compete with the best players in the world but admitted he needed to be victorious in some of those matches to get back to his pre-hip injury level.

He continued: “I don’t think there are many players who would be able to compete with the top five players with a metal hip. I am proud of myself for putting myself in a position to compete with those guys.

“But ultimately if I want to get back to somewhere close to the level I was at before I need to be winning those matches.”

Speaking on his plan to start winning his tight battles with the best players in the world, Murray added: “I need to be a bit more clinical and ruthless when my opportunities come.

“That was one of the things when I was right at the top of the game was a strong part of my game and I need to get back to that.

“When my opportunities come, I am going to take them and be clinical. Finish those sets off when you get ahead and not think that more chances are going to come along because when you play the top players, you don’t get loads.”
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