Bring on Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, says rejuvenated Andy Murray

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Bring on Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, says rejuvenated Andy Murray - GETTY IMAGES
Bring on Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, says rejuvenated Andy Murray - GETTY IMAGES

Andy Murray has signalled his desire to play finals against Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic again, as he appeared back to full fitness in time for Wimbledon on Monday.

Like Emma Raducanu, Murray has been managing an abdominal issue for the past couple of weeks, but looked sharp in a full-throttle practice session with Dan Evans on No 1 Court on Friday.

It means the 35-year-old enters Wimbledon with more optimism than he has in recent years, when a slew of serious injuries – including a hip resurfacing surgery – have affected his ability to compete at the top level.

Murray, a two-time Wimbledon champion, has not played a major final since his win at the All England Club in 2016. He has also not gone past the third round of a major in nearly five years.

But he said he continued to be “motivated” by the idea of reaching those heights again, and wants to put himself in a position to face the likes of Nadal and Djokovic in the latter stages of an event.

“The [Denis] Shapovalov [third-round] match at Wimbledon last year, it was really frustrating for me,” Murray said. “Because I didn’t feel like I was able to do myself justice. I was frustrated because I had done so much rehab and training and work and everything.

“I had not got myself to a position where I was able to be competitive in a big match on Centre Court. But those occasions are also the ones that still drive me to continue. Because I do believe that if physically I’m in a good spot and I have prepared well there are great performances in me against the best players in those matches.

“That is one of the reasons why I’m still playing. Not just to play a second round match against Oscar Otte. But to play the final of Wimbledon against Djokovic or Nadal, or [Matteo] Berrettini. One of those guys. That’s ultimately what I want.”

Andy Murray is hopeful of being fit for Wimbledon - AMC
Andy Murray is hopeful of being fit for Wimbledon - AMC

Ahead of sustaining the abdominal injury this month, Murray had a promising run in Stuttgart on grass. He reached the final, pushing last year’s Wimbledon finalist Berrettini to three sets, and scored wins over Nick Kyrgios and world No 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas.

“The thing that has been frustrating for me in the last few years is going into those [Wimbledon] matches – not all of them but some of them – and not being in a good place with my tennis or physically.

“Maybe in the last few weeks I have shown that, when physically I’m in a good place and my game is in a good place, and I have been able to prepare well – that is really, really exciting,” he said.

Andy Murray is wearing the Championship Collection from his signature AMC range which he will be playing in for Wimbledon 2022.

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