"It's exciting to see Andy Murray back in Miami," James Blake, former ATP player, now Miami's tournament director says about the Brit's return. The feeling is totally mutual as Murray has had good vibrations at the Miami Open before.
He won his first title there in 2009 and again in 2013. He'd fought with Spain's David Ferrer and came out the victor after nearly 3 hours. "It was a brutal, brutal match. Both of us were kind of on our last legs...I showed good mental strength to get through that match...it easily could have slipped away from me," the Brit said excitingly.
Three years later he entered Miami as the No. 2, ATP player in the world. Now ranked at no. 118 due to hip ailments, surgeries and then the world health crisis, he still brings with him the same enthusiasm and spirit he did long ago.
The Brit has had his struggles too, with testing positive for COVID-19 right before his flight to be at the Australian Open. He quarantined and continued his stride on getting more court time by playing at a Challenger event in Biella, Italy.
Murray dug his heels in and made it to the final. Despite a straight set loss to Ukraine's Illya Marchenko, going the distance has taught Andy Murray a very valuable lesson; that he can go deep in tournaments now with pacing himself and executing the right strategies.
In Rotterdam, he'd score his biggest win on tour defeating Robin Haase in the opening round in three sets this past August. But the second round he'd fall to Russia's Andrey Rublev after a defiant performance of tying his opponent with 5 aces.
Murray isn't discouraged at all and most likely feels that this could be his breakout tournament in stringing many victories together and perhaps capturing his third Miami title. "It's a city I love, and I've spent a lot of time here over the last 15 years.
I feel comfortable," Murray explains to the People. com media. He had also acknowledged the reason for his success in gaining the second Miami title. "I think just general freshness, really. I think being fresh helped even though...I just managed to get over the line in the end."
Getting a wild card and the history of Murray's two titles are great ego boosters for the Brit to dow ell here again. He emphasized strongly that "..I want to play matches...I want to get back playing a sport I love."