Scottish Daily Mail
FIT-AGAIN MURRAY OPTS TO MAKE HIS RETURN ON CLAY
ANDY MurrAY is set for a comeback just in time for the busiest period of the season — and will hit the practice courts with Novak Djokovic tomorrow.
The 33-year-old Scot has his sights set on Wimbledon, but first flies out to rome today to practice on the clay ahead of a full return in the week starting May 17.
Murray also plans to tackle the coming months with some help from former coach and now TV commentator Mark Petchey, who has been on court with him in recent weeks.
The double SW19 champion yesterday hit on the clay at roehampton’s National Tennis Centre with British youngster Jack Draper, confounding thoughts that he might abandon the clay season.
Murray (right) last played in rotterdam in early March but a groin strain has kept him out since.
He plans to enter either of the ATP events in Geneva or Lyon the week after next. And if he doesn’t get a wildcard into the main draw of the French Open this month, he will join the qualifying event.
‘On Sunday, I’ve got a court booked with Diego Schwartzman and then Novak,’ said Murray. ‘When you’re practising against the best guys it shows up better the things you need to improve on.’
A series of scans on his groin showed no serious issues, but the French authorities want to see evidence of his level before giving him a wildcard.
‘They want to see me on the court competing, whether that means I need to win matches, I don’t know,’ said Murray. ‘I don’t mind if they don’t want to give me a wildcard, that’s fine.’
Petchey, who coached Murray in his formative years, has been added to his support team to work alongside existing coach Jamie Delgado. ‘I felt it would be good to have a fresh voice some weeks,’ said Murray. ‘I thought he was a very good coach and because of his TV work, he is very current with his knowledge.’ Murray has had a tough year, having also been forced out of the Australian Open after testing positive for Covid in January.
‘It has been frustrating — I never expected things were going to be easy, but there are a couple of things that have happened that have been hard to take,’ he said.
‘I’m trying to do something that has not been done before. I’ve been in the NTC for six days a week. I’m a bit bored of doing that now, I want to get out there.’
RAFA NADAL was beaten by world No 6 Alex Zverev yesterday, 6-4, 6-4 in the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open.