Friday, March 30, 2018

Andy Murray to pla the Libéma Open in Rosmalen

Andy Murray to pla the Libéma Open in Rosmalen
Andy Murray to pla the Libéma Open in Rosmalen

Andy Murray will play the Libéma Open in Rosmalen in the Netherlands – in the week before the newly rebranded Fever-Tree Championships at Queen’s.

This is encouraging news, and adds to the impression that Murray – who is understood to have accepted a six-figure guarantee from the Libéma Open – is gathering momentum in his rehabilitation from hip surgery on Jan 8. He has also appeared in numerous videos from Nice, where he is training at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy.

In one social-media post, Murray could be seem chasing down a ball struck by his 17-year-old Glaswegian protégé Aidan McHugh. In another, he exchanged gentle groundstrokes with a variety of juniors who are training at the Academy. After that session, he was recorded speaking to a cameraperson about his rehab.

“I’m happy to be here training again,” said Murray, whose hip trouble blew up at a time when many tennis champions have been struggling with their health. “I’ve missed playing. I’ve not been fit for a long time. I’m having to go very slowly but I’m happy to be back on the court.”

It still seems likely that Murray will need another couple of months of practice time with coach Jamie Delgado, plus whatever hitting partners he can rustle up, before he returns to the match court. Hip injuries are notoriously difficult to recover from, but as he has previously pointed out, he might not need to regain his very best form to be effective on the tour.

The most obvious target for his first tournament since last year’s Wimbledon would be the Lawn Tennis Association’s new indoor hard-court Challenger, to be held in Loughborough from May 19.

After that, Murray could theoretically participate in the grass-court Challenger in Surbiton, the week before Rosmalen, but that is understood to be less likely at this stage. It is also possible that the Dutch event – which is sometimes known by the unpronounceable name of ’s-Hertogenbosch – could turn out to be his first stop. It starts on June 11 and has a total prize packet of £600,000.

Meanwhile the reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens came back from dropping the first set against Victoria Azarenka on Thursday to reach the final of the Miami Open. Stephens had won just three matches all season when she arrived in Miami a fortnight ago, but she survived a difficult early match against Monica Niculescu, the slice specialist, and is now assured of a place in the world’s top ten next week.

“Just keep fighting, because you never know what can happen,” said Stephens in her on-court interview after a 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory. “I was playing on a back court [on Sunday] against someone who was chopping me up, and to get here onto this court in front of you guys makes it that much more special.”

Article from The telegraph