Andy Murray and Ash Barty pay tribute to each other
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Andy Murray has been tipped to win one more Grand Slam in his career. The former world No 1 has been sidelined for several years with a hip injury, and is still making his comeback after undergoing a resurfacing surgery in 2019. Already a three-time Major champion, Murray has been gaining momentum in recent tournaments and most recently outlasted Frances Tiafoe in a three hour and 45 minute epic at the European Open.
Murray is playing in the European Open for the first time since winning the title back in 2019.
The current world No 172 faced a tough test in his opening round, drawing world No 48 Frances Tiafoe, who he lost to less than two months ago in the Winston-Salem Open.
The pair faced off in what the Brit said was the “longest three-set match” of his career on Tuesday evening (October 19), with Murray overcoming the American 7-6(2) 6-7(7) 7-6(8) in a marathon battle that saw both players hold match points in the final set tiebreak.
It’s the latest in a series of impressive matches the former world No 1 has played, with his comeback now gaining some serious momentum.
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Murray had an impressive showing at Wimbledon earlier this year, beating 24th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in four sets before winning a five set epic over qualifier Oscar Otte, with his run coming to an end against 10th seed Denis Shapovalov.
He then got a couple of wins during the North American hard-court season before pushing third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas to five sets in the US Open first round, ultimately falling to the Greek.
Having made his first quarter-final in almost two years at the recent ATP 250 in Mets, the 46-time title winner entered Indian Wells for the first time in over four years, scoring wins over world No 51 Mannarino and 30th seed Alcaraz before losing to recent Olympic champion and third seed Alexander Zverev in two close sets.
The 34-year-old appears to be on the verge of a breakthrough moment in his comeback, as he has started winning some close encounters he was finding himself on the losing end in just months ago.
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As his form continues to improve, Murray has now been backed to win a fourth and final Grand Slam title before he eventually calls time on his career, and one of his former coaches seems to agree.
Off the back of the Brit’s almost four-hour battle against Tiafoe, radio host Greg Brady tweeted: “Andy Murray. Medical marvel. Seeing him win just one more Slam.
“Think that would rival Connors’ 1991 run. Not for emotion, but certainly for practicality.”
One of Murray’s former coaches-turned-pundit Brad Gilbert has appeared to endorse the prediction, sharing it on Twitter with a series of positive emojis including the tick and thumbs up.
Murray has won just one singles title since undergoing hip resurfacing surgery in early 2019, as later that year he defeated fellow three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in the European Open final.
The world No 172 also partnered with Feliciano Lopez to play the doubles event in Queens in June 2019 – his very first tournament after surgery – and the pair came away victorious at the end of the week, winning the title as Lopez also hoisted the singles trophy.
With Murray’s form continuing to improve, he could go undefeated in Antwerp and win a second title this week.
Plus, with the likes of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic all looking set to be absent from January’s Australian Open, it could be the perfect opportunity for five-time finalist Murray to strike and surprise everyone by winning another Major.
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