Rafael Nadal: 'Andy Murray is still passionate about tennis'



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Rafael Nadal: 'Andy Murray is still passionate about tennis'

The three-time Major champion Andy Murray will finish the season outside the top-100 after playing only seven matches in 2020. The Briton earned a notable victory over Alexander Zverev in Cincinnati in his first match of the year, never repeating that level and experiencing more troubles with injuries.

The Briton is still eager to show his best tennis and get back where he belongs, entering the third The Battle of the Brits Premier League Tennis event in the next couple of days and hoping to shape up his game ahead of 2021.

The 20-time Major champion Rafael Nadal praised his rival and friend, mentioning his desire for the game and a passion for overcoming all the problems and extending his career. Andy and Rafa have played 24 times, and the Briton scored the victory in their last encounter in Madrid 2016.

Murray couldn't catch a break after a brilliant finish of that campaign, suffering a threatening 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 experienced 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.

Rafael Nadal praised Andy Murray and his fighting spirit.

The Briton showed his famous 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.

A few weeks later, 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, realizing he still has to work hard to reach his pre-injury level.

Andy's last match of the season came in Cologne against Fernando Verdasco, and he was back on the practice court soon after that, training hard ahead of 2021. "I haven't spoken much to Andy lately, but I know he is working hard to come back to the top of his level.

It is never easy to accomplish that after such a serious surgery, but the fact that he is still fighting shows his love for the game and his passion for our sport," Rafael Nadal said.