Andy Murray's Wimbledon Hopes In Doubt After Hip Injury Flares Up In Final Defeat

The former Wimbledon champion lost in Stuttgart, but it was double jeopardy for Murray
17:51, 12 Jun 2022

It was meant to be the first real high since his injury crisis. Instead, at the Stuttgart Open final, Andy Murray was left in pain as he was beaten by 4-6 7-5 3-6 by Matteo Berrettini. Just 15 days away from the start of Wimbledon and with Queen’s just around the corner, Murray clutched at that difficult left hip in the closing stages. 

This tournament had provided Murray’s first bright period in several years. He’d beaten top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals and Nick Krygios in the semis to take two big scalps on his way to his first tour-level final in six years. But his first ATP singles titles since 2019 proved to be a step too far as Berrettini, the runner-up at Wimbledon last year, won his first tournament since his own return from injury. 

"It's going to be tough to talk,” he said after the win. “Hopefully I won't talk too long and you'll be bored. Congratulations to Andy, an unbelievable fighter.

"The fight and spirit and everything he has shown in his career. I remember when I was a kid watching you and now we play each other, it doesn't feel real. I felt the support all week. I felt like I played in Italy from the first point. Grazie, danke, and I'm going to stop talking now!”

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Murray’s hip surgery in 2018 looked as if it had completely derailed his hopes of competing for major honours, but this week, for the first time he looked in moments like the player he used to be. A final Wimbledon farewell has always felt like the best way for Murray to say goodbye to the sport, but given he has shown he can beat one of the world’s best in Tsitsipas, it seemed retirement was off the cards. 

However, his body continues to creak, especially if he plays multiple matches in a short period of time. "Thank you to my own team here and back home and my family,” he said. “Thank you so much for all the support. There's been a lot of progress in the last few weeks and I'm looking forward to seeing what the future holds.

"I'm feeling better about my game. I hope my body holds up. I hope to see you all again in the future.”

Murray’s legendary status in the sport is unquestionable and Berrettini’s quotes pay tribute to an influential figure in the game, but how much he has left to offer is questionable. Time and time again he has defied the odds and this genuinely looked like it could be a successful comeback ahead of his most treasured period of the season. 

But instead of providing him with confidence and match sharpness, now this injury could have derailed his Wimbledon progress. In the grand scheme of things a Stuttgart Open win wouldn’t have altered his CV too much, but it would have given him a major boost heading into his home Grand Slam event. 

His determination and mental toughness is almost unmatched on the circuit, but physically, his body continues to let him down in key moments. Given the stresses he puts his body under over a match, it's not unusual that he has suffered from a major injury in this way, but it does give us some context for the other modern greats. 

Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer and now Novak Djokovic have all continued at the very highest level way into their 30s. Over a decade at the top is impressive, anything more than that is almost superhuman in such a physically demanding spot. 

Murray has proved he is a mentality monster, but his body is only human. Hopefully we get to see him one last time on Centre Court. 

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