Murray on playing Djokovic: ‘He’s world No 1 and I’ve got a metal hip’

Britosh tennis star, Andy Murray has not hidden his admiration for Novak Djokovic.

Murray on playing Djokovic: ‘He’s world No 1 and I’ve got a metal hip’
Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray display their titles.
There was a time when Andy Murray thought that he would never again stand across the court from Novak Djokovic. After a disastrous practice match in the build-up to the 2019 Australian Open, Murray sat down courtside and waved his arms about in frustration at his inability to keep up with his old foe. Twenty-four hours later, he tearfully admitted that he was on the verge of retirement because of a debilitating hip injury.
 
Whatever the result of their reunion in the third round of the Madrid Open on Thursday, Murray should consider it a triumph that he has been able to set up episode 37 of this storied rivalry.
 
The 34-year-old is breaking barriers on the ATP Tour as the first man to make a successful comeback with a metal hip, and his match against Djokovic is a just reward for the blood, sweat and tears that have been shed over the past three years.
 
It is Murray’s biggest challenge yet in this bionic phase of his career, as well as an intriguing barometer of his progress after a punishing four-week training block with his coach, Ivan Lendl, in Florida. He has impressed even himself in his opening two matches, dashing about the court with speed during victories over Dominic Thiem and Denis Shapovalov, and now gets the chance to test all facets of his game against one of the sport’s greats.
 “He’s obviously No 1 in the world and I’m playing with a metal hip, so I shouldn’t have a chance,” Murray said. “I worked extremely hard in the last five weeks to get myself here and it’s a fantastic opportunity to play against him again on a huge court in a big tournament. My movement has been so much better than where it was at the beginning of the year, and it makes a huge difference to my whole game.”
Murray’s late-night win in three sets against Shapovalov, the world No 16, which finished at 12.34am on Wednesday, kept some of his fellow players up late. Dan Evans was one of those struggling to take his eyes off the action. Interestingly, as someone who shares a locker room with Murray, he has noticed a change in the former world No 1’s demeanour since the rehiring of Lendl for a third time.
 
“His attitude looks way more positive in the last few weeks,” Evans said. “Maybe that’s the work with Ivan and having the tennis in his legs. He was speaking a lot to the [players’] box on Tuesday but was very positive. His attitude put a lot of pressure on Denis. Andy knew what he was getting himself in for going back to Ivan. He’s way more confident hitting the ball probably because he has hit so many [during the training block]. I wouldn’t say his game has changed massively but he is just on it.”