Former British player Mark Petchey says Andy Murray can be in the race to qualify for the season-ending ATP Finals in London next year if he remains fit. Murray underwent hip surgery earlier this year but bounced back remarkably to win the ATP singles title in Antwerp after initially saying he would come back and focus only on doubles.
In an interview to Tennis365, Petchey says, "From everyone’s perspective, including Andy’s, this has been a dream come true from what was initially a nightmare start to 2019. He went through so much to try and get his hip into a place where he could try and play and then decided he could do no more and needed to have the operation.
It felt like it was all over for him when I interviewed him on court after his defeat at the Australian Open in January, but I felt then that he would not give up and would try and again and what we saw from him over the last two or three months was just amazing.
The question mark was over whether he could move at the levels required to compete at the highest level. That was the unknown factor, but he has answered a lot of those questions now. We all know Andy is very special and we had hopes that he might be able to come back but to get to the position he was in Antwerp and winning a tournament was beyond all expectations.
To beat a player like Stan Wawrinka in the final and also to be close to players like Fabio Fognini and Dominic Thiem during a very encouraging few matches out in Asia suggested he is not far away. He has found a way to breathe new life into a remarkable sporting story and hopefully, there are a few more chapters to be written.
If Andy stays fit, there is no reason why he can’t be in the mix to qualify for the ATP Finals next year." Petchey, who has coached Murray earlier in his career, says Scot's fitness levels during best-of-five-set matches remains to be seen, "The only question to answer now is how does the body stand up to a best of five-set match on a hard court against the very best, followed by another one two days later.
Against the lesser players, he will probably win a lot of matches in three sets and we have seen he is fine to play three sets, even if they are long matches. To go against someone like Novak [Djokovic] in five sets is a question mark he needs to answer for himself, but let’s not worry about that for now.
Instead, let’s celebrate a great career from a guy who has given everything to make the most of his talents and drain everything out of his body."