‘I’m pumped to be competing again’ – Andy Murray steps up his comeback in Rotterdam

Andy Murray in action

Former world No 1 Andy Murray has declared he is ready to step up his latest comeback effort, as he prepares to compete in the ATP 500 event in Rotterdam this week.

Murray will take on local favourite Robin Haase in the first round on Monday after his belated start to 2021 saw him reach the final of an ATP Challenger event in Italy last month.

He was well beaten in his first ATP Tour event last week, but appears to be in upbeat mood ahead of his set-up in a class as he takes his place in a high-class competitor list in Rotterdam,

“I’m pumped to be back competing again,” said Murray. Physically I feel good, which is the most important thing,” Murray said. “Obviously the next most important thing for me is to get matches and to get back to winning again on Tour.”

“I want to try and get matches, but I need to just focus on the first one and try and get through that,” Murray said. “I’ve played Robin a few times on Tour, we know each other pretty well. We’ve had some tough matches in big tournaments and he’s a talented guy with a big game. My focus is on that and trying to take each day as it comes just now.

“When you haven’t played loads, you go into these matches and it’s not the same as it was four, five years ago when you were playing five, six matches a week and you were used to that. I haven’t played much and need to build my confidence and get some wins back.”

Murray also spoke about contracting Covid-19 in January, as he was forced to miss out on his plans to play at the Australian Open.

“I’d trained really hard for 10 weeks and was feeling really good and then I wasn’t allowed to do anything,” he reflected. “I wasn’t allowed out of the house… that obviously affects the physical side, but also the mental side as well.”

“I’ve missed quite a lot of big tournaments in recent years with injury and stuff and then that happened and I was really, really disappointed.

“It’s still something that I’m probably getting over a bit from the disappointment and the mental side of things, but physically I feel good.”

Murray is striving to defy plenty of doubters by making a successful return to the tour, with former British No.1 Tim Henman telling Tennis365 last month that the Scot can be a threat to the biggest names in the game if he can stay injury free.

“The more I’m seeing him compete, I think his movement is going in the right direction and so the more he can play matches and his body can recover, then I think the more opportunity he’s got of stepping up to the next level.

“When I look back to the tournament he won in Antwerp at the end of 2019, his movement is much better now. If he could win that tournament, can he get back to win again on the main Tour? I think he can.

“The Slams, best of five sets and the recovery, I don’t know the possibilities there, he doesn’t know the possibilities, but he wants to give himself that opportunity to challenge himself.”

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