Andy Murray is plotting a return to singles competition. This development comes less than a year after he announced plans to retire in a tearful press conference prior to the Australian Open.
The former world number 1 cited unbearable hip pain as the reason for his decision. “The pain is too much, really,” Murray stated in the press conference, “It’s not something I want. I don’t want to continue playing that way. I’ve tried pretty much everything that I could to get it right, and that hasn’t worked.”
Yet, this wasn’t the end that Murray predicted. The Telegraph reports that Murray underwent resurfacing surgery in January, where a metal cap was placed at the top of Murray’s femur.
Murray took this option upon the recommendation of doubles specialist Bob Bryan, who underwent the same procedure in August last year. He was
back to doubles action five months later.
The 32-year-old Murray was optimistic that this procedure would ease the pain, and improve his quality of life, but he remained unconvinced that he would play competitive tennis again. “If I don’t recover well from it, then I don’t play again.” Bryan thought otherwise. “There’s no evidence that it’s possible [to return to competition] in tennis,” Bryan noted.
“I mean, so much wear and tear. But I think he could do it. I personally don’t underestimate Andy Murray. You look at the great workers in history: [Ivan] Lendl, [Jim] Courier, [Andy] Roddick. This guy is maybe even a step up.”
That work ethic described by Bryan has been a Murray trademark. For all his talent, it was his indomitable will that truly made the Scot one of the sport’s most successful ever players. Murray is ranked fifth in Coral’s list of the highest paid tennis players due to his three Grand Slam victories — one in the U.S Open and two in Wimbledon. This is despite facing numerous injuries throughout his career, including back surgery in 2016 (the year he won his second Wimbledon title). And this willpower is back on show once more.
Since the hip surgery Murray has been on the road for a singles return. This started at Queens where he won the doubles tournament with Feliciano López, and then at Wimbledon where he teamed up with fellow tennis
great Serena Williams for the mixed doubles. The two won their first two matches, before losing to top seeds Bruno Soares and Nicole Melichar in round 3 (6-3, 4-6, 6-2).
Murray has no doubt come a long way since that emotional press conference in Melbourne Park. He is in much better shape and he looks all but set to give singles competition another go. In fact, the three-time Grand Slam winner is aiming to play singles at the Cincinnati Masters this August. But that comeback will depend on Murray’s conditioning. He admitted that his “cardio isn’t great,” but that he is happy in terms of how he is “moving and feeling and pulling up the next day from these practices.”
Given Murray’s legendary work ethic, getting that conditioning back should be easy for the former number 1. What is important now is that he is finally pain free.
Las Vegas Aces Beat Connecticut Sun for First WNBA Championship
The Las Vegas Aces captured their first WNBA Championship in franchise history with a Game 4 victory over the Connecticut Sun 78-71 to close out the WNBA Finals 3-1 and bring home the title to Las Vegas.
“We didn’t like that feeling we had last year,” Aces guard Chelsea Gray, who was named Finals MVP, said following the game, according to ESPN’s M.A. Vopel. “It was a tough moment, but it built character. It was setting something up for the following year.”
The Aces joined the WNBA back in 1997, when they were known as the Utah Starzz. The franchise then relocated to San Antonio back in 2003 where they would be swept in the 2008 WNBA Finals. The Aces made the WNBA Finals in 2020, when the season was played in a COVID-19 bubble in Bradenton, Florida but were swept in the finals by Seattle.
Becky Hammon, who played for the organization during their stay in San Antonio, is now the head coach of the Aces. Hammon, 45, is the first person in WNBA history to win a championship in her first season as a head coach.
Vegas superstar A’ja Wilson now has a WNBA title, two MVP awards and an Olympic gold at just 26 years of age. She will be at the center of Sports SEO for years to come!
“And really, she’s just now entering her prime years,” Hammon said. “Think about the learning curve, even just this year. She learned some things entirely new, defensively and offensively. For her to excel like this, I’m excited about the upcoming years because of the foundation she’s put in. Her game is going to continue to expand. I really don’t know how good she can be, but she’s already here … I wouldn’t put a cap on her.”
Aces owner Mark Davis, who bought the Aces from MGM Resorts International in January 2021, spoke about the title and how it reminded him of the Raiders title win during the 1980s, as well as his decision to hire Hammon.
“She’s been absolutely unbelievable, and I guess this legitimizes the way we went after her,” Davis said. “I can’t wait to see what these rings are going to look like.”
“I’ve felt like Vegas set the standard in the league for how a franchise should be,” Wilson said. “When you have an owner like Mark who is so dialed in … the sky’s the limit for this franchise.”
The moment the clock ticked to zero to make the title win official will be seen by sports content creators and on social media for years to come.
England’s Emma Raducanu Advances At Wimbledon
England’s Emma Raducanu won in straight sets in her first-round singles match against Alison Van Uytvanck in 101 minutes, winning 6-4, 6-4 in what was her first match on Centre Court to advance at Wimbledon.
“To play on Centre Court and get a win first time, it’s amazing,” Raducanu said following the match, according to ESPN’s Tom Hamilton. “Now every time I go back, I’m just going to have a great first experience.”
“I definitely feel a really good energy,” Raducanu said, who is the reigning US Open champion and ranked No. 11. “Like how can you not playing here? Just walking around, you really feel the positivity. I feel like I’ve learnt a lot in the last year.
“But it hasn’t necessarily all been terrible. I won my first round at every Slam. As a 19-year-old, I pretty much just took my gap year and, like, starting again now.
“If the last year hadn’t have happened, then I think that any 19-year-old walking onto Centre Court would be a positive experience for you. And it was. And I definitely embodied that today.”
Raducanu was wearing an item of clothing from tennis superstar Rafael Nadal’s clothing brand, someone she says she draws inspiration from as he has battled injuries to claim victory at the Australian Open and the French Open this year.
“I think Rafa just embodies fight, that sort of energy,” Raducanu said. “That’s what I’m bringing in. In terms of energy-wise, I think that I have had a tough year, like it’s no secret. It is all worth it just to go out on Centre Court and get a win like that.
“I definitely am very happy to be here. All the lessons I’ve taken from the last year will only hold me in good stead for the future.”
Matthew Wolff Leaves PGA Tour for LIV Golf
LIV Golf has taken more talent from the PGA Tour as Matthew Wolff will will play in this week’s LIV Golf tournament at Pumpkin Ridge in Portland, Oregon, the first to take place in the United States, according to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach.
Wolff, 23, had an incredible rise to the start of his PGA Tour career but has been struggling over the past few months to regain his exciting form. Wolff tied for 40th in the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut, on Sunday.
Wolff turned pro in June 2019 and won less than a month later, tied for fourth at the 2020 PGA Championship, his first start in a major, and was second at the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot, and then things took a turn has he struggled over the majority of the past two seasons.
Wolff took two months off from golf in 2021 to focus on his mental health. Wolff returned to play in the U.S Open and ended up tying for 15th place. Wolff has missed the cut in seven of his past 12 starts this season and hasn’t finished inside the top 25, and is ranked 74th in the Official World Golf Ranking.
LIV Golf continues to steal headlines, in the fashion that Sports SEO would, and a number of sports content creators and sports talk podcasts are taking notice of it’s momentum, stealing a number of talent from the PGA Tour.
Wolff is one of the sports more popular players, so his defection will make waves for sure.
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