Call it the Summer of Andy. No one in tennis has had a better stretch than Andy Murray since reaching the French Open final, racking up titles at Queen’s, Wimbledon, the Olympics and last week in Beijing. As if that weren’t enough, after travelling from Beijing by train, he went straight to Center Court at the Shanghai Rolex Masters for a practice session.
“I’m very happy with how it’s going,” Murray said of his busy summer. “Beijing worked out well. In the end I didn’t have massive expectations there as I arrived very late and hadn’t been practicing much. So, you know, managed to get through my first couple of matches and then played really well at the end of the event, so that was good.”
With only a few tournaments to go until the end of the season, Murray’s stellar stretch has put him within striking range of world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, fueling speculation about a possible swap at the very top of the game. While fewer than 2,000 points separate the pair in the year-end Race, the Scot was cautiously optimistic about his chances.
“You know, the points to some might not seem that much, but it’s quite a lot when you consider (Djokovic) is also going to win a lot of matches, as well. It’s not like, you know, if I win here that I gain a thousand points on him,” Murray said.
Having faced his Serbian rival 34 times, half of them in finals, Murray added with wry smile: “There is a good chance that he’ll be in the latter stage of the event fighting for those thousand points, too.”
The Scot looks to give it his all in the final few tournaments of the year, saying: “I want to try and finish the year strong and give myself some momentum going to next year. I feel motivated. You know, I’ve got something to play for towards the end of the season.”
Whether that “something” is winning his first ATP World Tour Finals or claiming the No. 1 remains to be seen.
After receiving a bye in the first round, Murray opens against American Steve Johnson.