(March 11, 2022) INDIAN WELLS, California – Andy Murray joined the “700 Club” when he became the 18th player in the Open Era to win 700 or more singles matches on the ATP Tour and the fourth active player to accomplish the feat when the Scot rallied to beat Taro Daniel of Japan 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 on Friday on Stadium 1 Court at the BNP Paribas Open.
Murray, who received a wild card to enter the Masters 100-level tournament talked about his accomplishment at his news conference:
“Yeah, reaching that number is a really, really good achievement. It’s not been easy getting there,” he said.
“It does mean a lot to me because I know how difficult it’s been, certainly the last few years. When you look at the players that have done it, most of the players that are up there and have won that many matches are certainly the best players of the last sort of 30, 40 years.
“Yeah, like to be in amongst that is nice. Like I said, I’ve looked and I’ve seen the players that are between 700 and 800, and there’s some amazing players that I watched when I was growing up as a kid, some that I’m aware are the best players that ever played the game.
“I know that they probably weren’t thinking about that when they were playing, but yeah, I would love to try and get there. I guess when you look at a number like that and you see it’s comparable to some of those guys, yeah, it makes you feel proud of your achievements and the matches that you’ve won in your career in what’s been an incredibly difficult era.”
Murray said that his most priceless achievement was reaching No. 1 but talked about the turning point in his career.
“I mean, 2012 Wimbledon, probably, the period between that and the Olympic Games was really, really important for me,” noted the three-time major winner.
“When I lost that Wimbledon final in 2012 against Roger (Federer), there was still pressure building, questions getting asked about me and whether I could win a Grand Slam, whether that was possible.
“I was asking myself those questions, as well (smiling). I was working really hard to get there, and was not managing to quite get over the line.
“Yeah, after that match against Roger in the 2012 Wimbledon final, I was obviously very upset for a few days after that, kind of accepted I guess that it might not happen, may not win a major. But what I could control was the effort and everything that I was putting into trying to keep going, keep improving.
“Winning that sort of Olympics (London 2012) four weeks later in the final against Roger on the same court in the fashion that I did was a big, big step for me and my career, I think.”
“The final of the Olympics in 2012 for me was probably one of the best matches that I played in terms of like the occasion and everything,” Murray added. “I thought that would probably be the one I would pick as my sort of best performance.”
The 34-year-old Murray will face Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan in the second round
UK day continued on Stadium 1 as 11th seed Brit Emma Raducanu kept the Union Jack flying for the another win by stopping France’s Caroline Garcia 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 to make the third round.
“It was definitely a tough match to win,” said the 19-year-old US Open champion. “Caroline is a really tricky opponent because she is really aggressive and plays very quickly.
“As soon as I dropped my ball speed and pace, she took advantage of that in the second set. I’m just glad that I managed to adjust for the third.”
“The match today, I’m not going to lie, I was a bit nervous going out before because I hadn’t played many. I know that before I went out in my last match in Mexico, I was pretty nervous, ” Raducanu admitted.
“Today I just really wanted to play free and swing. During, when things were getting difficult, I was like, Just think how bad you’re going to feel if you let this slip, after having your chances. I had broken the first game of the second. I played a bit of a sloppy game, missed loads of first serves, let her back in.
“At the understand I think this one definitely meant a lot to me. Definitely a lot of joy.”
Raducanu was bombarded with questions in her news conference about her UK countryman, Andy Murray who won his 700th tour match.
“I think Andy is such a class player,” she said. “The way he can put the ball in places that you just don’t want. I think that’s a real great skill to have.
“I definitely looked up to him today especially because I was following him. I knew he came through some tricky moments. Yeah, I was thinking the same when I dropped the second set. I was like, You can do the same, just keep pushing.
“I think it was great to follow him in the order of play today.”
“He (Andy) has been supportive, for sure. I know one time when I was, like, just practicing, I managed to hit with him. I was so nervous. I was moving my feet so fast just to try and keep up.
“I think he’s just such a great role model for me and everyone, from the UK, and also across the world. 700 wins is something I can just dream of. I think I’ve won three now, so I have a long way to go,” she said with some laughter.
More to follow….