Andy Murray Makes Return from Injury at Queens Club, Loses to Nick Kyrgios in Three Sets
(June 19, 2018) Andy Murray made his return to the ATP World Tour after almost a year away with a hip injury, losing a close match to Nick Kyrgios in the first round of the Queen’s Club event on Tuesday 2-6, 7-6 (4), 7-5 in a 2 hour and 39-minute match.
Murray talked about his emotions coming on to court after being away for 342 days: “I was pretty nervous this morning beforehand, just because you don’t really know how you’re going to perform. And obviously playing against someone like Nick, as well, a tough match, he’s obviously a very good grass court player and serves extremely well. So, you know, I didn’t know how well anything was going to go, really. I was nervous about that.
“But, you know, I thought I did okay. I certainly could have done some stuff better, like beginning of the second set I thought my level at times was good; sometimes not so good.
“You know, serve at the end of the match, I didn’t feel like I served particularly well in the third set. But, you know, I did some good stuff, as well. You know, physically I did okay, as well. I didn’t feel amazing well physically, like at the end I was starting to tire a bit, but it was a good test for me for first match in such a long time.”
“I was starting to get a bit tired towards the end, and there’s things that maybe like on the serve, you know, if you’re not pushing up to the serve and driving up to the serve as much, you know, that comes from your leg and maybe there is a bit of a fatigue element there from, you know, from the hip potentially.
“But, you know, hopefully I’m not too sore, like, in the hip after a match like today, and I also physically will have gained a lot from it, as well. Like hopefully, you know, like if I have to play a longer match in the next couple of weeks, you know, I will handle it a bit better maybe because I have been through it and my body will hopefully start to remember what it’s supposed to do. Like my body is supposed to play tennis. That’s kind of what I have taught it to do since I was a kid. So it will remember quickly, I hope, yeah.”
He’s back! ?
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) June 19, 2018
Kyrgios looked to be hampered by an injury as well.
“But 2-All in the first set I split-stepped and my hip kind of, I don’t know, just kind of pinched a little bit, and I was kind of dealing with a little bit of pain for the whole match, as ridiculous as that sounds, because the guy was out from a hip injury,” said the Australian.
“My hip was just a little bit sore. But apart from that, I mean, I’m feeling okay.”
Kyrgios admitted it was strange to play Murray making a comeback: “It was strange because on big points, when I won them, I almost felt bad if I showed any emotion. Like I didn’t really want to get into his grill at all,” he said with a smile.
“But other guys, if I’m up 30, like 30-All or have a match point, I’m probably going to be a bit psyched up. But the whole time I was just like — it was kind of good to see him back out there, but it was a very awkward match for me because I was thinking the guy hadn’t played a match in a year, and I was getting smoked in the first set. I was, like, this is not going to be a good look if I lose this match.
“Obviously there was a lot of thoughts going out there. I’m happy I pulled it through, but ultimately just seeing him back out there — I mean, we played for like two-and-a-half hours, so if tomorrow he pulls up good, then it’s probably a success for him.”
“I have very high expectations, and then obviously when I lose a match like that, which I feel like I was very close to winning and probably could have won that, you know, I’m disappointed and frustrated that I wasn’t able to,” the three-time major champion said.
“But then hopefully, you know, in a couple of days I’ll be able to reflect on it and think, you know, actually considering the circumstances, you know, it was a positive step forward and my recovery from, you know, the hip issues that I have had. It might take a couple of days.”
Earlier in the day, Novak Djokovic’s made his first appearance at Queen’s Club since 2010 dominating Australian qualifier John Millman 6-2, 6-1.
“It was a good match,” said the Serb. “I mean, all in all, I can’t really talk about too many negatives. Today, I mean, everything, the focus was there, right intensity every shot. Every shot was working really beautifully.
“I thought I put a lot of pressure on him, on his service games, because I was getting a lot of returns back in play. Also quite, you know, quite solid returns, strokes, and, you know, he was on the back foot from the beginning of the point.
“Yeah, I’m very pleased to be able to start off the grass court season this way at the tournament where I haven’t participated for eight years, and, yeah, hopefully I can keep on progressing day after day.”
Djokovic, a 12-time major winner came into the tournament as a wild card.
Milos Raonic, who lost the final last week in Stuttgart, won his opener when qualifier Yuki Bhambri retired hurt while trailing 6-1, 3-1. Then Raonic later withdrew from the tournament himself with a strained, right pectoral muscle.
Raonic: “Unfortunately I have sustained a strain to my right pectoral muscle. This happened on the second to last point of the match, and as a result I am not able to continue with the tournament. I’m really disappointed as I was playing well and I love this tournament.” pic.twitter.com/1vNg8AB5f2
— Fever-Tree Championships (@QueensTennis) June 19, 2018