It’s been three years since Andy Murray participated in a grass court event in front of his home crowd. During that time, countless obstacles got in the way of his primary objective to continuing playing the sport he loves. Thankfully, on Tuesday afternoon, the three-time Grand Slam champion took a positive step forward when he defeated Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-2 at the Queen’s Club. The emotion that followed after the spectacular win was long overdue, to say the least.
After clinching his second ATP victory since August, Andy Murray was asked how it felt to compete again at the highest level in his on-court interview. The Brit stated that he loved playing tennis before choking up and apologising as the emotion took over. He went on to say that competing is the main reason for the hard work and that he couldn’t do it as much in the last couple of years. He added that it’s great to be back and to compete once again.
Murray’s Incredible Victory
Prior to the Queen’s Club tournament, it was obvious that Andy Murray was confident in his technique and the only question mark was his body. His movement at the start along with all the important points was therefore quite encouraging. He managed to seal his first service game after chasing down a brilliant drop shop from Paire and broke serve in both sets with remarkable running passing shots to prove his agility.
Murray performed well throughout the game, even though there is still some rust that needs to be treated. He served magnificently during pressure moments, didn’t give Paire a lot of easy points with his big serve, and swept up short balls with his powerful forehand. In fact, he only had 6 unforced errors throughout the entire match.
However, his recent victory comes with a caveat. The match against Paire was Murray’s easiest in the tournament. Everyone is aware of Paire’s struggles with the pandemic and although he greatly improved, he still lost 19 of 21 matches, showing his wild misses and erratic decisions.
Each Match Could Be His Last
After the game, Murray informed reporters that he was so nervous that he had to go to the toilet 4 times prior to the start of the match. He stepped onto the court with serious doubts. However, as the match started, he could think of nothing else but winning. This hasn’t been the case in the past when he usually stepped onto the court in an immense amount of pain.
Murray also stated that he wished he enjoyed the small and big moments throughout his career and vowed that he would do so going forward. That’s what he enjoyed during the match against Paire where he could just go out and be himself. He added that he always tells himself that each match might be his last and that he should take advantage of every moment when he steps onto the court. It might not be the best mindset but it helps him get over the finish line.
On Thursday, Murray will face the top seed Matteo Berrettini in the second round of the Queen’s Club tournament. Earlier that day, sixth seed, Dan Evans, claimed victory against Alexei Popyrin. With Monday’s victories for Jack Draper and Cameron Norrie, it will mark the first time since 2005 that four British tennis players won each of their first-round matches at the Queen’s Club.