Andy Murray discusses his tennis future aged just 14
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Andy Murray has been warned of the “risk” of returning to clay by former British No 3 Barry Cowan after making a u-turn on his decision to miss the Madrid Open. The former world No 1 had previously decided to skip the entire clay-court season and go straight to grass-court events before his home Grand Slam on Wimbledon starts on June 27.
“One week in Madrid when you haven’t played in those conditions in a while is a risk,” said Cowan to Sky Sports. “It’s something he has spoken to Ivan Lendl at length about and they feel that’s the right thing to do.”
But after stating his intent to alter his schedule and play in the tournament in Spain, Murray, 34, was forced to defend himself amid criticism over the decision to hand him a wildcard. The three-time Grand Slam champion has not played since he lost to Daniil Medvedev in the second round of the Miami Open in March.
His last clay-court match came back at the French Open in 2020. There, he was hammered in straight sets by Stan Wawrinka, winning just six games in the entire match at Roland Garos. It’s a factor that makes his latest decision all the more intriguing.
JUST IN: Tennis star Ksenia Palkina hit with 16-YEAR ban after match-fixing scandal
Murray has managed his workload since returning from a second bout of hip surgery in 2019, which involved attaching a metal cap to the ball in his hip. And now former pro Cowan, who once famously took Pete Sampras to five sets at SW19, has questioned the Scot’s latest decision.
“It was something that I never thought would happen because of what happened the last time he played on clay,” he told. “He was uncomfortable on it, in terms of his movement. He felt the transition from going to hard to clay and then back to the grass, which, let’s be honest, is the most important part of Andy Murray’s season, is making sure he’s fit for the grass.”
Rafael Nadal ‘disabled’ by rib injury as star makes honest admission before Madrid Open
Wimbledon facing legal battle as Russian and Belarusian stars hire lawyer to challenge ban
Emma Raducanu ‘very proud’ of journey as Brit reflects on crazy 12 months since A levels
Before his meeting with Medvedev, Murray did beat Federico Delbonis in Miami but Cowan argued the conditions in America are vastly different to what he’s about to endure, adding: “Madrid is so unique. The conditions are not like a clay-court as such. It is super, super quick. You only have to look at some of the players who have done well there over the years. It’s the type of place where John Isner likes to play and the type of place where Reilly Opelka could do some damage.
“Madrid is at altitude and Murray will go back to the fact that he has won that title before, but that’s on the back of playing a lot more matches.” Regardless, Murray will have a tough test first up against Dominic Thiem on Monday.
Should he get through, Murray will face Denis Shapovalov in the second round. The Scot is also in the same half of the draw as Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz, and top seed Novak Djokovic.
Source: Read Full Article