Andy Murray He left the audience frozen on January 11, 2019 when he announced, with tears in his eyes, his retirement from tennis: “I feel a lot of pain, I cannot continue.” Murray played that Australian Open with the air of parting, crushed by a hip injury, three seasons after reaching the top as number one in stark struggle with Novak Djokovic, of whom only seven days of age separate him, both of May 1987. The Scotsman wore three titles of Grand slam in his record, two in Wimbledon and one in the US Open; two olympic golds, on London 2012 and Rio 2016; a Davis cup, in 2015; a ATP Finals, in 2016; 41 weeks at the helm of world ranking… That unexpected goodbye loaded the newscasts with reminders about a brilliant career that placed him as the main opponent to the dominance of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, of a Big three which during that time was expanded to a Big four, although it was never such.
Murray he was leaving tennis, but he really didn’t want to leave. And then he underwent a second operation, with a metal prosthesis, which allowed him to start a second Life sporty. His three rivals had done it several times, they always got up, but his hole was much deeper. Murray is not today who he was, far from it, but whoever had, retained. And the flashes of his class resurface from time to time. We saw her a year ago when she dubbed Alexander Zverev on Cincinnati. Or in the past US Open, when he put on the ropes Stefanos Tsitsipas, in that controversial five-set match where he was outraged by the Greek’s long breaks. Or this Sunday before the promising Carlos Alcaraz placeholder image, who he beat in Indian wells in an intense three-hour clash, with a bunch of resources, an old dog, that dislodged the emerging Spanish player. Murray has given a general lesson with his return from darkness. And another particular to Alcaraz, who will surely have taken note of how they are spent a number one.