The competitive fire still burns bright in Andy Murray. In the aftermath of a vintage performance at the Moselle Open on Tuesday, full of grit and determination, the former World No. 1 insisted, “Winning is all that matters to me.”
The 34-year-old, who has undergone two right hip surgeries in the past three years, explained, “There are two things that matter — your effort and your attitude, which is probably No. 1 as that’s what you can control. For me sport is about that. You either win or lose.
“Winning is what sport is all about, and if you can play great whilst doing that even better. But if you can’t, and you don’t play your best, then winning is a great feeling. That’s why I am still playing. I have little goals — to get to 700 wins on tour. I’m not particularly interested in losing and playing well.”
Speaking after his 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over sixth-seeded Frenchman Ugo Humbert in Metz, Murray admitted, “I don’t think I’ve played that well recently, but my body has been good and even not playing my best, I’ve created opportunities to win sets against a number of top players. There is no question that I can play better.
“The thing that has been frustrating for me in some of the matches is that I had opportunities — against [Andrey] Rublev I had 4-4, 15/30 in the first set [at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam], [Hubert] Hurkacz I had set points at 5-4, 15/40 [at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati] and the same thing against [Frances] Tiafoe at 5-4, 15/40 [at the Winston-Salem Open]. Countless opportunities against [Stefanos] Tsitsipas [at the US Open] as well. If I take those chances, those matches are very different.”
Murray, who has now won 683 tour-level matches, believes that adjustments made to his service technique after Wimbledon in July are helping him earn more free points and be more competitive.
“The serve has been a big positive since Wimbledon, the changes that I have made there have really helped get me some free points. It got me out of some tricky situations today… At the US Open, I felt that I played a good match [against Tsitsipas] and lost. These are the matches that are really important to build confidence. Winning a match against a player around the Top 25 [today], and not playing your best tennis, is a real positive.
“The serve was the shot that was most affected by my hip problem. I kind of lost my technique on my serve and I couldn’t drive up to the serve. So I had to change my serve through necessity and lost a lot of power. I didn’t really get that back.
“There has been moments in the past couple of years when I have served well, but I had to look at it after Wimbledon and make a few adjustments. In the matches in the [United] States, I was getting a lot more free points. It changes the way you play.”
Murray will play Canada’s Vasek Pospisil in the Metz second round on Wednesday.