March 2, 2021
Andy Murray stormed back to score his first ATP Tour-level victory for six months in a pulsating match in Rotterdam.
And the brave Brit vowed that he will continue to prove the doubters wrong as Wimbledon draws closer.
Meanwhile Roger Federer’s comeback in Doha is just around the corner and he will probably follow up by playing Dubai.
It’s wonderful news for Wimbledon 2021 to know that two of the world’s favourite players are back in action.
The London crowd will go wild for these giants of our sport in what could prove to be their final appearances at Wimbledon.
And you can bet that everything Federer and Murray do in the next few months will be geared towards giving them the best chance of success at the All England Club.
Murray won 2-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 against Robin Haase in Rotterdam. He had already tasted victory recently at the Biella Challenger and he even reached the final in Italy.
But this tournament is a whole new ball game. The fact that Murray could meet Andrey Rublev next says everything. The Russian is currently one of the world’s most in-form players.
For now it’s appropriate just to celebrate Andy’s comeback. Murray last won on the ATP Tour at the US Open last year. His determination to find his best against the odds never ceases to amaze us.
And against Haas we saw something that Murray has always done better than any other player in the world.
We are of course talking about Andy’s trademark lob.
The precision under pressure and the audacious invention of Murray’s lob in the tie-break was astounding.
It came at the perfect time, because Haase would have won the match if he had gained the ascendancy in the breaker.
Instead Murray arced a beauty from the back. And it came down to land on the baseline beyond his astonished opponent.
That put Andy 2-0 up in the breaker, and he went on to level with ease.
It has often been said that Murray could lob a giraffe.
When people build the perfect composite player, they call upon Murray for that speciality.
But the drama wasn’t over in Rotterdam. Haase was still in terrific form and raced to a 3-0 lead in the decider.
That’s when Murray summoned something even more special to win the final six games!
Where did he find that extra gear? He explained his motivation after the match.
Andy uses the doubters and haters to reach new heights. He said: ‘Every time I lose a match I’m getting told to retire, that I should stop playing, that I’m finished and I’ve got nothing left.
‘It’s motivation in some ways but also adds a bit of extra stress. It’s a big challenge for me just now and one that I will meet head on, but it’s not easy.’
He won’t stop now. Not with Wimbledon so close.
Always driving the determined Scot on is the thought of Centre Court, Wimbledon 2021.
At the very least, Andy has earned the right to say farewell to Wimbledon by playing some great matches on the show-courts there.
And once he gets back in the groove on grass, who knows how far Murray can go?
Federer is focused on the same destination – Wimbledon 2021.
He plays Doha next week and could follow that up with the Dubai Tennis Championships.
Roger will then return to training rather than risk the physical stress of Miami before he is ready for big-time action.
He will build his fitness to time his peak for Wimbledon.
And what cheers there will be for Federer and Murray at the biggest Championships of them all!
Will you be there too as tennis history unfolds?