Andy Murray: the home team’s fearless teammate

There are few modern tennis stories more inspirational than Andy Murray’s.

The Scot’s career has paralleled three Grand Slam winning greats: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, a trio that became The Big Four after Murray won his first Major at the US Open in 2012 and finished the year as No. 1 in 2016.

Forty-one weeks at the top, three Grand Slam singles titles, eleven major finals and two Olympic gold medals.

Andy Murray has been a leading player since his Top 10 debut in 2007, a national hero, father of four, knight of the empire and athlete who battled through a debilitating hip injury and lengthy rehab to get back to the top of the world get game.

The Laver Cup London 2022 will be Murray’s first appearance with Team Europe, expanding Captain Bjorn Borg’s opportunities in doubles where Team World previously excelled.

“I’m pumped,” he says. “I’ve been watching TV for the past few years and it’s always looked amazing, great atmosphere, really unique.

“These are guys I’ve competed against my entire career and it’s been extremely challenging so I’m really looking forward to being part of the same team as them.

“We’re all getting a little bit older now. This might be one of the last opportunities we get to do this together. I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Glasgow-born Murray loves a team environment and can be counted on to play his role in singles and doubles, supported by millions of fans in his hometown.

How it is going

At the start of the year, ranked 135th in singles, Murray was close to winning his 47th title in Sydney. Determined to return to the top 50, he finished second behind Aslan Karatsev and stated after the match that he was back to winning titles, not just matches.

A week later, Murray defeated 21St Set Nikoloz Basilashvili in the first round of the Australian Open and spent the first half of the year piecing together victories against higher-ranked opponents: Federico Delbonis in Miami, Denis Shapovalov in Madrid and on grass Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios in Stuttgart.

Despite suffering an abdominal injury in his Stuttgart final against Matteo Berrettini, Murray was encouraged to maintain a consistently high level.

Andy Murray in Stuttgart

Andy Murray upset Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas en route to the final in Stuttgart.

Buoyed by four wins over top 20 players, Murray returned to Center Court at Wimbledon in July to beat Australia’s James Duckworth in four sets. He then pushed an in-form John Isner 6-4 7-6(4) 6-7(3) 6.4, and while disappointed by the close loss, Murray said he believed his game was in good position and that he was motivated to do the final stages of the majors.

Murray faced Alexander Bublik for the fourth time in the quarter-finals of the Hall of Fame Open in Newport in 2022, showing strong form in his first-round wins over Sam Querrey and Wimbledon doubles winner Max Purcell.

Nearly four years after undergoing major hip surgery, Murray defeated Stan Wawrinka in the first round in Cincinnati and went to Flushing Meadows with a world No. 51 ranking, where he finished 24thth set Francisco Cerundolo in straight sets in their opening encounter. After a third-round appearance at the US Open, his ranking moved up to No. 43.

Murray on playing the Laver Cup

Andy Murray’s intentions to regain his status at the pinnacle of tennis were bolstered by his decision to enlist Grand Slam great Ivan Lendl as his coach again this year.

Murray clearly appreciates the confidence Ivan Lendl has placed in him and also that of Bjorn Borg who picked Murray for Team Europe London and describes him as “a dedicated, fierce and inspiring competitor who is once again at the forefront of the world has established play.”

Playing in a team environment is a familiar and pleasant prospect. “I love playing as part of a team and the event has a great atmosphere and intensity. I’ve heard a lot of good things,” says Murray.

As a Laver Cup viewer over the past few years, he has enjoyed watching teammates Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the bench and providing coaching advice to the whole squad.

“It’s just unique. I’ve never experienced that in my career. I am very happy to receive some (advice) from you.”

When assessing the opponents, he says that the Laver Cup 2022 will not be easy for Team Europe.

“All the players in their team are top players, we have to play well to win.

“Taylor had a brilliant season, he’s a big guy. Takes every shot, doesn’t really hold back. Jack Sock is one of, if not the, best doubles player in the world. You have a good mix in your team.

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