Andy Murray wary of heavy workload and aging body – ‘I can’t just keep going until something happens’

Andy Murray pulls a face Credit: Alamy
Andy Murray pulls a face Credit: Alamy

Marathon man Andy Murray spent nearly 12 hours on court during his run at the Qatar Open and, although he is feeling “okay physically”, he admits he needs to be smarter when it comes to managing his workload.

Murray finished runner-up to Daniil Medvedev in the Doha final on Saturday, but it was another exhausting week for the three-time Grand Slam winner as four of his five matches went the distance and he even saved several match points along the way.

This not long after he chalked up nearly 14 hours at the Australian Open in January. Following his Melbourne Park exertions, Murray opted to skip the Rotterdam Open to give his body more time to rest.

As things stand, he won’t have recovery time this week as he is due to play in the Dubai Tennis Championships with his first match set for Tuesday against Hubert Hurkacz, but it remains to be seen if he will play as he doesn’t want to overdo it.

“Actually I felt okay physically. I mean, after some of the long rallies, like, you know, my legs at times were feeling a little bit heavy, but I felt okay physically,” the former world No 1 said.

“I just maybe – the one thing I’m reflecting on now, I didn’t feel like I maybe used the crowd as much as I could have done, or after the good points, like, had maybe as much energy as I have in sort of recent times and probably wish I had done that a little bit more, because I feel like when I’m expressing myself like emotionally like that’s when I play my best tennis.

“Physically, considering everything, I was quite happy with how I felt.

“I’ll speak to my team about next week, because the last time I played five matches in a row was in Stuttgart in a week, and this is a shorter tournament, because you start on the Monday, finish on the Saturday. So I played five matches in six days. Maybe Saturday’s one was the shortest, but four of them were pretty, pretty tough matches physically.

“At my age and with some of the issues that I’ve got, I do have to be mindful of those things, and I can’t just keep going until something happens.

“I need to be a bit smarter with that. So I’ll chat to my team and see how I feel. I’m flying to Dubai on Sunday. Then, yeah, we’ll see where we go from there.”

Hurkacz is also coming off an excellent week as he won the Open 13 in Marseille on Sunday and Murray feels it will be a good match-up if he does take to the court.

The pair have met three times on the ATP Tour and the Pole leads the head-to-head 2-1, having won the opening two meetings in Cincinnati and Metz in before Murray won in Austria with all three matches taking place in 2021.

“I played Hurkacz a few times on the tour, and, you know, I have actually felt like I played like it’s not too bad a matchup for me. Obviously he’s a great server and he moves very well for a big guy,” Murray said.

“I don’t feel like it’s too bad a match for me, and obviously with having been playing outdoors in these conditions. It should be a good match.”

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