Andy Murray and Daniel Vallverdu met in Spain in the early 2000s, becoming best friends and competing at some doubles tournaments together. While Andy developed into a top-ranked singles player, Vallverdu chose a different path, becoming a coach and crossing ways with the Briton again in 2010.
Murray and Vallverdu worked together until the end of 2014, with the Venezuelan helping the Briton en route towards two Major titles. Dani is thrilled to see Andy in action again, hoping he can chase big titles again if he remains fit after many troubles with injuries.
The three-time Major champion will finish the season outside the top-100 after playing only seven matches in 2020. The Briton earned a notable victory over Alexander Zerev in Cincinnati on a comeback, his proudest moment in a short campaign that could only start in August.
Murray couldn't catch a break after a brilliant finish of the 2016 campaign, suffering a terrible hip injury that had almost ended his career. Eager to compete again, Andy underwent two surgeries, returning to the court in June 2019 and winning the doubles title at Queen's with Feliciano Lopez.
After a couple of months, Murray conquered the ATP 250 title in Antwerp - his first singles crown since Dubai 2017 - and moved closer to a place in the top-100. Instead of a strong finish of the season at the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid, Andy suffered a pelvic injury that sidelined him from the court at the beginning of 2020.
Working hard to get at his best, Murray returned to action at the Cincinnati Masters 1000 event in New York, beating world no. 7 Alexander Zverev before losing to Milos Raonic.
Andy Murray's former coach Daniel Vallverdu praised the Briton.
The Briton showed his well-known fighting spirit at the US Open, ousting Yoshihito Nishioka from two sets to love down but having nothing left in the tank for the second-round clash against Felix Auger-Aliassime.
After a couple of weeks off, Andy drew a former champion Stan Wawrinka in the Roland Garros first round, suffering a massive 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 loss in an hour and 37 minutes. Andy's last match of the season came in Cologne against Fernando Verdasco, and he is already on the practice court ahead of the 2021 season that should start in February.
"It's pretty amazing what Andy is doing, coming back from that type of injury. We are all fortunate to still have him around, not only in the locker room but on the court. As long as he can keep himself fit and, I wouldn't say, pain-free, but with not so much pain and physically fit, I wouldn't be surprised if Andy has some excellent results next year.
It's hard to predict how far he can go, but I believe that if he manages to keep his body fit, he will be competitive against the top guys and notable tournaments. I would never write him off. Having a good personal relationship helps.
However, the base of it is making sure that as a coach, I'm getting the best out of the player, helping him to maximize his potential," Daniel Vallverdu said.