The three-time Major champions Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka will face each other in Roland Garros first round on Sunday. Three years ago, Stan prevailed over Andy in the semi-final in Paris after more than four and a half hours of an epic battle that "destroyed Andy Murray's hip."
Both players were struggling with injuries in the last couple of years, finding the way to bounce back and fight for Antwerp's title last October. After two surgeries, Andy was making excellent progress in 2019 before experiencing a pelvic injury at the Davis Cup Finals in November, missing the action in the opening two months of 2020 and returning in Cincinnati and the US Open.
Now, the Briton will try to revive his clay-court magic against a former Roland Garros champion, aware that he could always face players like Stan Wawrinka or Novak Djokovic in the first round until he improves his ranking.
The 33-year-old is ready to extend his career and fight for the titles again, hoping for six months without injuries and problems to shape up his game and challenge the players from the top.
Andy Murray will face Stan Wawrinka in Roland Garros first round.
"What I would love is six months of consistent practice, tournaments, resting.
It is hard because, where I am ranked now, I can feel good this week, and then I draw Stan Wawrinka or Novak Djokovic in the first round. In Cincinnati, I beat Alexander Zverev, who was the 3rd seed. You are playing the best players early in tournaments, and, with the two-year ranking system, it's a lot harder to improve your ranking.
To get to the top-50, you would need significantly more points than what they usually are. Players are adding to their points tally; apart from Antwerp and the points at the end of the year, I hardly have any computer points.
That's what will be challenging, making sure you turn up for the tournaments ready, play and win against the top players early on in the events. Rely a bit on draws and hopefully get a few breaks along the way. I am aware it will be tough to get back up there, but if I can have five, six months to compete in the tournaments I want to and practice properly, I will win some more trophies and have notable wins.
Stan and I came on tour at similar times, he was maybe a year or so before me, and then the last few years, both of us have had many injuries. I would say the last few years, we have probably been closer. I message him a bit; he messages me after matches and tournaments, which wouldn't have been the case six, seven years ago," Andy Murray said.