Andy Murray relishing first Novak Djokovic meeting in five years after impressive Denis Shapovalov win

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Andy Murray is relishing the chance to play Novak Djokovic for the first time in five years after an impressive three-set win over world No16 Denis Shapovalov at the Madrid Open on Tuesday night.

In what is his most notable win of 2022, any suggestion it might go the same way as his last meeting against Canadian Shapovalov - at Wimbledon last summer in which the Briton won just eight games - were quickly dispelled as Murray raced to the first set for the loss of just one game.

Although Shapovalov, this season with Murray’s former coach Jamie Delgado at his side, levelled the match, the Scot showed enough resolve to win 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 to set up a first Djokovic meeting since Doha back in 2017.

Looking ahead to facing the No1 seed on Thursday, Murray said: “In theory, I should have no chance in the match. He’s obviously No1 in the world and I’m playing with a metal hip so I shouldn’t have a chance in the match.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to see where my game’s at and to play against him. We’ve had so many great battles over the years in some of the biggest tournaments in the world.

“We played in the final I think of all four grand slams, we played here in the final, and I haven’t had the opportunity to play against him for a long time. I didn’t know if I ever would get that chance so I’ll enjoy it, I’ll have a fantastic attitude in the match, give it my best and see where I’m at.”

Murray has showed glimpses of good form in 2022 but struggled for a consistent run of results. But in Madrid he has beaten two former top 10 players in the shape of Dominic Thiem and Shapovalov.

Djokovic is a step up in class but the Serbian said he was relishing the challenge of taking on his long-time rival.

“He’s moving well, playing better and better,” said Djokovic. “It’s really fantastic to see because he’s an important player for our game.

“He’s made his mark in the history of our sport by winning multiple Slams and gold medals and reaching No1 in the world. He’s one of the most important names that we have.

“To have him still compete is great and to have him even play at a high level as the time goes by is impressive, considering the surgery and what he has been through in the past few years. His resilience and fighting spirit is really inspiring.”

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