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.
Phil Mickelson to play the Saudi International tournament on the European Tour
Phil Mickelson has decided to play the Saudi International tournament on the European Tour, according to ESPN’s Bob Harig.
Mickelson will play the event the same week as the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the PGA event that Mickelson has won three times during his career.
The European Tour added the Saudi International, which is supported by the government of Saudi Arabia, to it’s schedule last year, amidst a ton of criticism.
“I am really looking forward to playing in Saudi Arabia in January,” Mickelson said in a statement. “I watched Dustin [Johnson] win the title last year and thought the course looked like an interesting challenge. Having so many talented players on show also made it look like a much more established tournament than one in its inaugural year. I have enjoyed my previous visits to the Middle East and am looking forward to playing in a new country and doing my bit to grow the game in the Kingdom.”
Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia and Tony Finau also have committed to play the event which takes place from January 30th through February 3rd.
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Tiger-Cats’ Chris Van Zeyl Planning to Be Vocal Leading Up to Grey Cup
As the Hamilton Tiger-Cats prepare for their clash with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers this Sunday in the Grey Cup Tiger-Cats offensive lineman Chris Van Zeyl is looking to take on a vocal role leading up to the game.
“I don’t care who’s listening I’m going to tell every guy all week,” Van Zeyl said following Hamilton’s East Division win over the Edmonton Eskimos. “(Grey Cup week) is going to be a marathon week . . . for guys new the league or who haven’t experienced Grey Cup week, there are distractions everywhere.
“The team that stays focused the best is the team that usually wins the Grey Cup. If we can lock in for one more week and treat it like it’s going to be our last week together as a family and team, I’m pretty confident in our ability to win the game.”
Van Zeyl has stepped into the starting lineup for the offensive line and has been a big part of the TiCats success this season despite the loss of Jeremiah Masoli to a season-ending knee injury forcing to the team to turn to backup Dane Evans.
“There was no weight of expectation put on me,” Van Zeyl said. “This team embraced me and let me do what I had to do.
“I can’t speak highly enough about the quality of people in this locker room and leading this team in terms of coaches and front office and what they’ve done for me and this organization.”
“I’ve never really been one for personal accolades,” Van Zeyl said. “To be honest, it would mean a lot but if we don’t win the Grey Cup it will be all for nothing.
“I’m going to give that one night, and really that’s all it is — one night — everything but I want to make sure I put my best foot forward so when we’re in the Grey Cup my teammates know they can count on me.”
“I still feel like I’m playing pretty dominant football and I’m going to play until I’m not having fun anymore,” he said. “Honestly, this has been a heck of a fun year for me.
“But that’s a credit to the guys around me and the coaches and preparation that goes into every game. It’s fun to come to work every day, it’s fun to play with these guys and I look forward to many more years with this team.”
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Lleyton Hewitt Not Backing Off Davis Cup Criticism
Austalia captain Lleyton Hewitt is not going to back off his criticism of the new-look Davis Cup, standing by his belief that the format should have never been changed in the first place.
“I still feel the same way,” Hewitt said (h/t ESPN).
“In terms of the Davis Cup and how we all knew it … two of the biggest differences and what the competition was all about was home and away ties and matches played over five sets.
“You couldn’t do that in any kind of form in our great game and if you look at the pinnacle of our game, which are the Grand Slams, they are played over five sets.
“But this is a new format and as I said at the start of the year, our boys get to wear the green and gold and play for their country.
“It doesn’t matter if we are playing marbles out there, we’re going to lay everything on the line and do what we can to represent our country and make everyone back home proud.
“In terms of that, nothing changes and we have to go out there and do our best.”
The 18-team, world cup-style Davis Cup event officially kicks off in Madrid on Monday, and the winners from each of the six groups will move on to the quarter-finals on Thursday, along with the two best runners-up.
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- Phil Mickelson to play the Saudi International tournament on the European Tour
- Tiger-Cats’ Chris Van Zeyl Planning to Be Vocal Leading Up to Grey Cup
- Lleyton Hewitt Not Backing Off Davis Cup Criticism
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