Enjoyment, excitement the key for tennis star Andy Murray as he plans his future


“I’m very lucky I get that chance again in January if I stay fit in the next couple of months and it’ll be fun to see what I can do,” Murray said on Tuesday.

“It has been an up and down few years but I feel like I’m coming through the other side of it and excited to see what I can do over the next couple of years.

“It’s difficult to say exactly where I am. I’m not where I was when I was 25 but I don’t expect to be and don’t need to be [in order] to be competitive at the highest level. That’s why I’m excited.”

Murray’s European Open title in Antwerp, his first since March 2017, has given him the belief that he could beat the likes of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic – a notion that would have appeared impossible a few months ago.

“I know if I played against the top players tomorrow there would be a very small chance of me winning that match,” he said. “But I do feel I could win.

“That’s one of the performance goals I want – when I go out on court against all of the players I want to feel like I have a chance of winning.”

Murray, whose wife Kim gave birth to their third child a few weeks ago, a son named Teddy, says the main priority is to continue playing pain free and enjoying the battle.

“I’m not going to set a target of top 10 or trying to make the semis of a grand slam because I’ve done all of that before and I don’t need that,” he said.

“So if I’m 30 in the world or 70 in the world but I’m still enjoying it and still enjoying the preparations and training and I feel competitive then that would be success for me.”

Meanwhile, former world No.1 Kim Clijsters has been warned she could struggle to compete with the top players when she returns to the WTA Tour in 2020 as the sport has become more physically demanding.

The popular Belgian won four grand slam titles before retiring from the sport for a second time in 2012 but in September the 36-year-old announced that she would come out of retirement again because of her love for the sport after eight years out.

“It’s hard to say what I expect from Kim as I don’t know how she is physically. Tennis really got way more physical the last few years on the WTA Tour,” Naomi Osaka’s former coach Sascha Bajin told the WTA website.

“For sure, she can still turn matches with her championship mindset and playing the right ball in big moments, but I really don’t know if that’s going to be enough to compete in this modern age.”

Clijsters, who first retired in 2007 to start a family, had planned to resume her career in January but then delayed her comeback after suffering a knee injury.

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“The biggest challenge is going to be competing again on a daily basis … bringing it every day,” said Bajin, who guided Osaka to two grand slam titles and was named 2018 WTA coach of the year.

“I think I want to say yes she can win another slam but at the same time I’m not sure … it’s not going be easy but if she’s coming back she can have great success.”

Reuters

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