After exiting the Montpellier Open Sud de France straight away at the hands of Egor Gerasimov, former world number one Andy Murray took part in the ATP 500 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, a tournament he already won in 2009.
Here he defeated home favorite Robin Haase in a comeback, before falling to 4th seed Andrei Rublev with a score of 7-5 6-2. Champion of three Grand Slam events and two consecutive Olympic golds, Murray will turn 34 in May. Having faced Roger Federer 25 times on tour (winning 11 of those fixtures), Andy Murray knows a thing or two about the Swiss' skills and resilience.
While speaking with Metro, the Scot drew parallels between himself and Federer - which is understandable given that both players have had an unfortunate tryst with injuries lately.
Murray on Roger Federer
"I just want to get out and compete and just enjoy doing what I am doing.
I imagine Roger Federer would be the same," Andy Murray said. "I am sure he has been training hard and is excited to get back out there and compete. I am sure in time, providing that his body is good, that he will play top-level tennis again, because he is that good."
Andy Murray didn't rule out the possibility of Roger Federer slowing down a tad, but he asserted that the Swiss is skilled enough to get the better of a majority of the players on tour. "Even if there is a slight drop-off physically for him, I would back his skill against most players, I am sure he will be fine," Murray added.
Murray expressed sympathy towards the Swiss in that regard, before adding that Federer is capable enough to find his way without any outside advice. "I think obviously, he’s gone through, you know, a difficult time for the last year and had the second knee surgery and stuff," Murray said.
"So yeah, [sympathy] from that aspect, but he doesn’t need any advice." Since tennis resumed from the coronavirus break in August 2020, the ATP has been following the ‘best of’ method for its rankings.
The ‘best of’ method considered the best performance of the players between 2019 and 2020. This safeguarded players from losing their points in case they didn’t want to travel during the troublesome COVID-19 period.
Thus Federer didn’t drop much in the rankings despite playing only one tournament in 2020. Now ATP had extended the above method, till mid-March 2021. This again benefitted Federer as he further missed the start of 2021 season.
But now it was thought that Federer would lose 1000 points from Miami Open 2021 as it begins in the last week of March and had the Swiss master as its defending champion.