Nadal and Federer delighted to welcome Murray back to ATP Tour

By Sports Desk June 04, 2019

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are both pleased to see Andy Murray preparing for a return to action, although they always believed a comeback was possible.

Former world number one Murray announced at the Australian Open that he planned to retire at Wimbledon later this year and may not even feature again beyond Melbourne.

His final match at the year's first grand slam saw the three-time major champion presented with well-wishing messages from an array of stars - including Nadal and Federer.

But after a resurfacing operation left his hip pain-free, Murray will play doubles at the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen's Club later this month.

Nadal, speaking after reaching the French Open semi-finals, suggested Murray had made a premature call in January but was delighted by his return.

"Being honest, for me, it was a little bit surprising that he announced [his retirement] that quick," the 11-time Roland Garros champion said.

"So I always thought that he would find a way to try to be back, because he is still young and still very passionate about the game. I'm happy to see that he is going to play again.

"That's great news - first, for him and for his team and family, and then for the Tour itself and then for the fans.

"It is good for the world of tennis. I am happy for it, and especially happy for him."

Federer, who will play Nadal in the last four in Paris, echoed the Spaniard's sentiments, also explaining why he had paid tribute to Murray in Australia.

"The Australian Open was early in the year and he's coming back for doubles," he said. "So from that standpoint, he knows, only he knows [about his return].

"We were more told that, from what I heard in the press conference, this could be it, so, 'can you please make a message?' OK, fine, we'll do a message. But we were hoping that this message is not actually real.

"For Andy, as well, when I saw him after his match against [Roberto] Bautista Agut, I also had just won my match. I saw him in the locker room, and I was like, 'so what's up? Are you really retiring?'

"He didn't know. Clearly there was a misunderstanding or he wasn't sure yet.

"I just think it was an emotional moment and he was just at a breaking point where he realised 'I cannot keep playing any more'.

"I have been there - like at Wimbledon, for instance, in 2016 - I realised I could not keep doing what I'm doing like this. It's just not healthy any more. He was in that moment and it just hit him.

"After we realised he wasn't sure, we were all hoping he would come back. And from what I'm hearing, there are two ways to look at it.

"It's number one for his health, and we want Andy to be healthy, more so than being a tennis player. But if he can play tennis on top of it, that's a super bonus.

"And I think all of us top guys would be thrilled to see him back on the Tour."

Related items

  • Ostapenko thrashed on home soil by Pera Ostapenko thrashed on home soil by Pera

    Jelena Ostapenko suffered a crushing defeat in front of her home fans at the Baltic Open as Bernarda Pera thrashed her in the first round.

    The 2017 French Open champion could not use the support of the fans in Jurmala to her advantage as Pera, coming off a run to the semi-finals at the Ladies Open Lausanne, eased to a 6-2 6-1 win in just 66 minutes.

    "I feel great," Pera said. "Every ball, I saw really big, and thank God I got to finish early!"

    Speaking later in her post-match media conference, the American added: "I knew I could win this match. I just had to stay focused and stick to my game plan. I felt pretty good from the beginning and I'm happy to get through."

    While eighth seed Ostapenko crashed out, top seed and compatriot Anastasija Sevastova had no problems as she hammered Varvara Flink by the same scoreline. Second seed Caroline Garcia battled to a 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (8-6) win over Kristyna Pliskova.

    There were, however, other shocks on Tuesday as Katerina Siniakova lost to Anhelina Kalinina in three sets while qualifier Nina Stojanovic overcame fourth seed Aliaksandra Sasnovich in a contest that also went the distance.

    Wildcard Jana Fett got the better of seventh seed Tatjana Maria across three sets while Valentyna Ivakhnenko carried qualifying momentum into the main draw with a 6-0 6-4 victory over Sorana Cirstea.

    Bucharest Open champion Elena Rybakina beat Han Xinyun and runner-up Patricia Maria Tig defeated Ankita Raina, while there were also wins for Paula Ormaechea, Katarzyna Kawa and Chloe Paquet.

    At the Palermo Open, world number five Kiki Bertens was emphatic in dispatching Ekaterine Gorgodze 6-0 6-1, while second seed Alize Cornet struggled past wildcard Martina Trevisan 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-1.

    Third seed Viktoria Kuzmova survived a three-set scare against Elisabetta Cocciaretto and Lausanne champion Fiona Ferro – who beat Cornet in the final – knocked out seventh seed Sara Sorribes Tormo in straight sets.

    Jasmine Paolini stunned sixth seed Laura Siegemund 6-1 6-4, Fanny Stollar triumphed over Sara Errani, Jil Teichmann saw off Daria Gavrilova and Irina Camelia-Begu and Anna-Lena Friedsam also earned victories.

  • Thiem & Zverev back to winning ways in Hamburg Thiem & Zverev back to winning ways in Hamburg

    Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev each bounced back from first-round exits at Wimbledon with victories at the German Tennis Championships on Tuesday.

    Thiem and Zvervev lost to Sam Querrey and Jiri Vesely respectively at SW19 but rediscovered their form on the clay in Hamburg.

    French Open finalist Thiem racked up the 250th ATP match win of his career by seeing off Pablo Cuevas 6-3 7-6 (7-3), while Zverev got the better of Swedish Open champion Nicolas Jarry.

    Jarry's win in Bastad marked his first career ATP singles title, having lost to Zverev in the final of the Geneva Open in May, but he could not avoid a repeat of the result from two months ago as the German prevailed 6-4 6-2.

    Next up for Zverev is Federico Delbonis, who lost to Jarry in the semi-finals last week but came from a set down to see off Marco Cecchinato in two hours and 36 minutes in his first-round encounter.

    Third seed Fabio Fognini beat qualifier Julian Lenz, fourth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili was a straight-sets winner over Hugo Dellien and seventh seed Jan-Lennard Struff defeated Thiago Monteiro, but sixth seed Laslo Djere lost to Filip Krajinovic in two sets.

    There were also wins for Richard Gasquet, Casper Ruud, Pablo Carreno Busta and Bastad finalist Juan Ignacio Londero.

    Joao Sousa claimed a 6-4 6-4 win over Steve Darcis at the Swiss Open Gstaad, where Denis Istomin, Albert Ramos-Vinolas, Jaume Munar, Taro Daniel and Gian Marco Moroni were also victorious.


  • Popyrin eases into Atlanta second round, Thompson falls Popyrin eases into Atlanta second round, Thompson falls

    Alexei Popyrin stormed into the second round of the Atlanta Open, but fellow Australian and seventh seed Jordan Thompson crashed out.

    Popyrin won almost 70 per cent of his service points as he eased past Denis Kudla 6-3 6-4 at the ATP 250 tournament on Monday.

    The 19-year-old – who tallied nine aces – will face fourth seed Pierre-Hugues Herbert for a spot in the third round.

    Thompson was a first-round casualty in Atlanta, where he fell 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-3 to Brit Cameron Norrie.

    Norrie's three-set victory earned him a match against either South Korean qualifier Kwon Soon-woo or Prajnesh Gunneswaran.

    Third seed Alex de Minaur awaits American Bradley Klahn, who saw off Marius Copil 7-6 (7-3) 7-5.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.