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After scoring 700th career win, Andy Murray aims for exclusive 800 club
The former world No 1 scored a milestone win on Friday to set up a second round clash in the desert against 31st seeded Alexander Bublik
Before Friday, only 17 players had achieved the 700 wins milestone on the professional men’s tour. Four-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray joined that club after his first-round victory over Taro Daniel at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and then quickly set his sights on joining the 800-wins club.
With former coach Ivan Lendl, with whom Murray achieved his biggest successes, back in his team, any one having doubts about Murray’s long-term intentions can be rest assured that the 34-year-old Brit believes he can return to the top level in the men’s game.
On Friday, the Brit got off to a slow start against a familiar opponent, Taro Daniel. This was the third time this year that Murray and Daniel have met on the tour, with Brit losing to Daniel to at the Australian Open but beating him in Doha last month.
Murray bounced back to win in three sets 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 in just under two hours and set up a second-round clash against 31st seed Alexander Bublik. The Brit has a 2-0 edge in his head-to-head with Bublik, including a win in Rotterdam just last month.
The physical battle has been tough. Mentally it’s been challenging, as well.
Speaking after his incredible win, Murray said the road from 600 wins, achieved in 2016, to 700 had been long and difficult.
“Like I said many times, it has been a really difficult four, five years. Even, when I did come back and start playing in 2019, I was actually playing some quite good tennis. Got injured again and missed a bunch of time. Obviously had COVID, had some other niggles, injuries. It’s not really until last sort of five, six months when I’ve got consistency of like getting to compete regularly.”
“There’s obviously been the physical battle, but also mental battle as well, of trying to find my game, trying to be patient and not get too frustrated and too down on myself, which has been tough these last four or five months. It’s been hard. The physical battle has been tough. Mentally it’s been challenging, as well.”
“I would love to try and get to 800”: Andy Murray
After becoming the 18th player and only the fourth active player to reach the 700 wins club, Murray said he would like to target the 800 wins club next, something only 10 men have achieved in the history of the sport.
“I wouldn’t say during my career I was focused necessarily on match wins, sort of numbers and things like that. However, as I’ve sort of got older, you’re coming towards the end of your career, there’s certain milestones that would be something nice to achieve. Obviously not many players have managed to do that. With all the difficulties of the last few years and everything, I was on course to get there quite a few years ago. It’s been tough. Reaching that number is a really, really good achievement. It’s not been easy getting there from, you know, Greg was telling me I got to 600 in Cincinnati in 2016. Five and a half years to get the last hundred, so it’s taken awhile. Yeah, I do look at that stuff now. Like I do look at the other players that are around me, around those numbers. Gives me some motivation and encouragement to try to get higher and win more matches.”
Most ATP wins by a male tennis player in the Open Era.
- 1,274: Jimmy Connors
- 1,251: Roger Federer (active)
- 1,068: Ivan Lendl
- 1,043: Rafael Nadal (active – prior to Indian Wells second round)
- 991: Novak Djokovic (active)
- 951: Guillermo Vilas
- 908: Ilie Nastase
- 883: John McEnroe
- 870: Andre Agassi
- 801: Stefan Edberg
- 793: Arthur Ashe
- 779: Stan Smith
- 762: Pete Sampras
- 734: David Ferrer
- 722: Manuel Orantes
- 713: Boris Becker
- 702: Brian Gottfried
- 700: Andy Murray (active – after Indian Wells first round win)
“When you look at the players that have done it, most of the players that are up there and have won that many matches are certainly the best players of the last sort of 30, 40 years. To be in amongst that is nice. I’ve looked and I’ve seen the players that are between 700 and 800, and there’s some amazing players that I watched when I was growing up as a kid, some that I’m aware are the best players that ever played the game. I would love to try and get there. I guess when you look at a number like that and you see it’s comparable to some of those guys, it makes you feel proud of your achievements and the matches that you’ve won in your career in what’s been an incredibly difficult era.”
Murray added that his confidence has been boosted by former coach Lendl, one of only four players with more than 1,000 ATP wins, agreeing to come back on his team.
“I trust a lot in what Ivan [Lendl] says. We obviously had some excellent results together in the past. It means a lot to me that he is still willing to help me and believes that I can achieve great results. I trust him in that, too. I still feel like it is possible. If he didn’t believe that, I don’t think he would work with me, and I think he would tell me. So, I am looking forward to it.”