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‘Injuries can be psychological’: Andy Murray on Thiem’s struggles plus Wawrinka support

Andy Murray has had some positive things to say about three men all dealing with their own physical challenges at the moment

Andy Murray Mar 9, 2023; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Andy Murray (GBR) hits a shot in his first round match against Thomas Martin Etcheverry (not pictured) on day 4 of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

If anyone knows about struggling to get back to the top, it’s Andy Murray, so it’s no surprise that after his first-round win at the BNP Paribas Open against Tomas Martin Etcheverry, he was asked for his thoughts on three other men who have been dealing with their own challenges.

He had a word for Dominic Thiem, who lost in the first round against Adrian Mannarino, and has had problems stringing together successive wins since a wrist injury took him away from the tour in 2021.

“It’s really hard when you’ve been out for such a long time,” sympathised Murray. “Wrist injuries are always tricky. I don’t know the ins and outs of the injury. Some of [the problems with recovering from injury] can be psychological as well. Maybe it will just take one big win or one big week to turn that around, but I hope that he can because he was challenging for majors very regularly before the injury.

“There’s one specific shot he’s struggling on just now; the rest of his game, there’s not a huge change physically. He still moves extremely well and everything. I hope that he can get back to the level that he was at, but it’s not easy.”

Stan Wawrinka, a couple of years older than 35-year-old Murray, has had his own injury issues, but is also in the Indian Wells second round following his win over Aleksandar Vukic.

“We always got on very well together and obviously shared the court with each other many times. We always emssaged each other and stayed in touch through the injuries,” revealed Murray.

Murray: Gasquet doesn’t get the respect he deserves

And he had plenty of praise for 36-year-old Richard Gasquet – something he thinks has been lacking from other quarters during the Frenchman’s career.

“I was really happy for him when he won the tournament in Auckland earlier this year, because I think sometimes he maybe doesn’t get the respect he deserves,” said Murray. “He has been an incredible player for such a long time. I just love seeing guys who are maybe not at their peak, they’re out there giving everything, competing, because they love the sport. I practised with him here last year at this tournament and was chatting with Gasquet about it: ‘How long are you going to play?’ And he was asking me.

“He was just saying he just still loves playing, he loves competing. That can take you a long way. He’s an incredibly talented guy, also, but the love for the sport is still there, clearly, to be playing as well as he is at his age.”

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