Andy Murray always enters Wimbledon as a hometown favorite and has been the great British hope in the men’s draw for the past decade and a half. He has repaid that faith by winning the hallowed Wimbledon trophy twice, becoming the first British man to do so since Fred Perry nearly 80 years before him when he first lifted the trophy in 2013.
The last 6 years of Murray’s career have been plagued by hip injuries, resulting in him requiring replacement surgery in 2020. Obviously, Murray, who had a career year in 2016 and finished as world number one, has not been back to his best since then, clearly in physical discomfort often, and unable to find the level that made him part of the ‘big 4’ for many years. Still, Murray shows up at tennis tournaments and refuses to back down, racking up as many wins as he possibly can in a story as inspiring as his greatest successes in his prime.
His spirit and determination were most recently praised by his great colleague and rival Roger Federer, who is currently in London as part of his Neon Legacy initiative. Speaking at one of his events, Federer was asked to comment on Murray, with Wimbledon on the horizon and Murray looking for a deep run after his successful Australian Open stay.
“He just won a Challenger in Surbiton last week,” Federer said of the Briton in an interview with i news. “He won in the same week that Novak achieved this incredible record of 23 slams and Andy retired from Surbiton – that deserves so much respect too.”
Murray skipped the French Open to prepare for the grass season and had a good warm-up in a competitive environment at the Surbiton Trophy. He is currently competing at the Nottingham Challenger where he is the top seed.
“I’m a big fan of Andy’s and I wish him all the best for Wimbledon. It’s his best surface in my mind, especially these days,” Federer continued. Murray, who was still on the road to recovery last year, was hit of the court by the great American John Isner in last year’s Wimbledon.
Since then, however, he has enjoyed a strong run, holding two brutal five-set encounters against Thanasi Kokkinakis and consistent top 10 player Matteo Berrettini, saving match points against both. He also reached the final of his next tournament in Qatar, where he overcame Alexander Zverev en route to the championship match where he ran into Daniil Medvedev, one of the finest hard court players in the world.
“So I hope he wins many, many rounds at Wimbledon in a few weeks. Andy is a special man and I’m very happy he’s still able to play. He loves it. He really loves it. ” Murray’s champion’s spirit and warrior mentality have seen him re-enter the world’s top 50. It bears repeating that he has achieved this feat by playing with a piece of metal on his hip – a feat as remarkable as any on the ATP Tour.
Federer feels much the same. “I think with all the complications he’s had with his hip it’s great to see he’s still going. What he goes through and what he achieves with what he has gone through is incredible,” concludes the Swiss.
Federer and Murray shared a hotly contested up-and-down rivalry, with Murray often leading their head-to-head record. Federer would beat the Brit on the last 5 times they met, however took that particular match 14-11 as the curtains closed. They have not played each other since 2015, but Murray was in attendance at Federer’s farewell tournament at the 2022 Laver Cup, on hand to say goodbye to a tennis icon.
Federer also confirmed that he will attend this year’s Wimbledon Championships as a fan after rubbishing rumors of a commentary role in a Twitter Q&A earlier this year. He is enjoying his retirement away from the game, taking the opportunity to spend time with his family after a 25-year professional career.
Wimbledon begins on July 3 and Andy Murray is sure to have Center Court billing in the very first match he plays.