Queen's: Andy Murray 'didn't expect to be playing in the final'

  • Posted: Jun 23, 2019

Andy Murray says he “didn’t expect to be playing in the Queen’s final” on his return to tennis, five months after career-saving hip surgery.

Murray, 32, and Feliciano Lopez, 37, beat John Peers and Henri Kontinen 7-5 6-7 (5-7) 10-7 in the semi-final.

The pair have dropped one set and beaten top seeds Robert Farah and Juan Sebastian Cabal en route to the final.

“I didn’t have high expectations at all,” said two-time Wimbledon singles champion Murray.

“I had a tough, tough draw, playing the top seeds in the first match and I’ve never played with Feli [Lopez] before.

“I think things have probably got a little bit better maybe with each match as well.”

In Sunday’s final, Murray and Lopez will play Britain’s Joe Salisbury and American Rajeev Ram after they claimed a shock victory over fourth-seeded US brothers Bob and Mike Bryan.

Spaniard Lopez will take on 34-year-old Frenchman Gilles Simon in the singles final at 13:30 BST before returning to the court for the doubles final.

  • Andy Murray & Feliciano Lopez into Queen’s doubles final
  • Relive Murray and Lopez’s semi-finals win
  • Lopez to play Simon in Queen’s final

‘Zero pain in my hip’

Before his surgery in January, Murray limped and grimaced between points and his suffering culminated in a tearful news conference at the Australian Open, when he revealed retirement plans.

But the Scot, who has won the singles title at Queen’s five times, has looked sharp on court all week and his body language reveals how much he is enjoying playing again.

Murray said there was “no pain at all” in his hip after the semi-final, although he admitted he was feeling the effects of the three matches he has played.

“My back’s a bit stiff,” he said. “You’re sort of getting down low for a lot of balls and you’re always kind of in a crouched-over position in doubles a bit more than when you’re in singles.

“I’m not used to that as much, so my back has been a little bit stiff after some of the matches. My arm is a little bit tired from serving and stuff. But my hip’s been brilliant so far. I don’t feel anything at all. It’s amazing.”

‘I wanted to play every tournament with one partner’

Murray won his last doubles title with brother Jamie in Tokyo eight years ago, but has not announced any plans to team back up with his sibling.

Instead, the former world number one will play with Brazilian Marcelo Melo at Eastbourne next week before partnering France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the men’s doubles at Wimbledon.

“I ideally would have liked to have played with the same partner every single week,” Murray said.

“I have got three brilliant partners, so hopefully we can do OK. But I have to do a few things differently each week.”

The Scot’s mixed doubles partner is yet to be decided for his return to Grand Slam tennis at the All England Club in July.

After revealing in his BBC Sport column that French Open champion Ashleigh Barty had turned him down, many players took to Twitter to offer to play with Murray.

But the three-time Grand Slam winner said he had not spoken to anyone personally about it yet.

“My coach had a few messages from players,” he explained. “A few people have said stuff online, but I haven’t actually spoken to anyone since.”

  • Live scores, schedule and results
  • Alerts: Get tennis news sent to your phone

Source link