‘I still have ambitions’ – Andy Murray on the challenges he sets himself despite metal hip

Andy Murray is getting used to life on tour with a metal hip

Andy Murray Tennis – ATP 250 – Qatar Open – Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, Doha, Qatar – February 25, 2023 Britain’s Andy Murray is pictured with the runners-up trophy after losing his final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

It wasn’t to be for Andy Murray as he tried to become the Qatar Open’s oldest-ever champion, but fell 6-4, 6-4 to Daniil Medvedev.

But the 35-year-old told a press conference afterwards that he still has plenty of ambitions that keep him motivated in this latter stage of his career – following the hip resurfacing surgery he underwent in 2019.

“I have goals. I think it’s important to have goals and targets and some of those goals are different to maybe what they were five, ten years ago. But I, yeah, still have ambitions of winning tournaments and having deep runs in major events – winning a certain number of matches in my career, I’d like to try to get to 800 match wins, which, I don’t know, I think I’m like 75 away from that [77 – editor’s note].

“There [are] little things that you can do to keep yourself motivated. Part of it is seeing how far I can go with, well, the physical limitation that I have. You know, like I didn’t know how much I was going to be able to play or if I’d be able to compete at this level again.

“So now that I know that I’m able to, I want to see how far that can go, because, yeah, it’s a challenge and something that, you know, I’m proud of the results that I’m having, yeah, with a large physical limitation.”

Murray: Medvedev has a different game to most

He also praised Medvedev and his game style, highlighting its difference from the normal tactics employed on tour.

“Obviously some players return from quite far behind the baseline, but I think he’s probably the furthest and does that consistently. Most players might return there sometimes but change the position a little bit, but he returns from very far back.

“Most of the players that do this are returning and playing with a lot of topspin. He does the opposite. He hits the ball very low and flat over the net, which is different.

“He also often, like when the ball comes through the middle of the court, I think pretty much maybe there is only one or two players, like Benoit Paire maybe does this where they run around the forehand to hit backhands, but it’s rare to see that. Most players are looking to play with their forehand in the middle of the court and play with sort of heavy topspin to push you behind the baseline, whereas he is moving the other way and hitting the ball very low and flat.

He added: “He doesn’t hit the ball extremely hard, so often you’re working with not so much pace on the ball. You have to generate the power. But because he moves extremely well, it’s difficult to, you know, to finish the points against him.

“One of the ways of doing it is by coming up to the net when you get the chance. It’s not so easy to pass from very deep in the court, but today he did a pretty good job of that. He came up with some really good passing shots at times, and I maybe came in on some of the wrong balls.

“He just has a different game style to most of the guys, and he’s a great athlete, as well.”

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