Andy Murray says he has ‘a retirement date in mind’ ahead of Wimbledon
Andy Murray rolled back the years with a display of youthful exuberance after watching his team-mates seal their place in the Davis Cup quarter-finals on Sunday. The Scot was part of the supporting cast watching on as Great Britain came back from the brink of defeat to beat France in an epic decider, and he showed his joy with a celebration that proved his passion for tennis remains alive and well.
The 36-year-old had endured a difficult few days at the tournament after deciding to miss the funeral of his grandmother to stay with the team. He broke down into tears after beating Switzerland’s Leandro Riedi in three hours and 10 minutes at Manchester’s AO Arena, and dedicated the victory to his late gran.
Against France, Murray could only watch on in the tense doubles decider as Dan Evans and Neal Skupski were tasked with overcoming Nicholas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin. In front of a sold-out 13,000 crowd, Evans and doubles partner Skupski fought off an incredible four match points on their way to a nail-biting 1-6, 7-6(4), 7-6(6) win over Mahut and Roger-Vasselin in the tie-decider.
And after they pulled off one of the greatest British comebacks in Davis Cup history, Murray – wearing a pink bucket hat – jumped for joy in celebrating wildly with Evans.
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Evans had done his bit earlier on by beating Arthur Fils in three sets in the singles, while Cam Norrie was beaten in a tight encounter with Ugo Humbert to level the score. It meant that whoever won the deciding doubles match would progress – and Evans and Skupski did not let the team down with a gutsy performance.
“It was nuts. Singles is singles and I feel comfortable on the court but the doubles? It was chaos,” Evans said after their victory. “I just kept saying to Neal: ‘We’ve got a chance, we’ve got a chance.’ Neal kept going, we both kept going.”
The win puts Great Britain through to the Davis Cup Final 8 in Malaga in November this year. Great Britain will find out on Tuesday if they play Italy or Serbia in the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup, with world No 1 Djokovic potentially awaiting them if they draw Serbia.
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Djokovic’s triumph over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain ensured Serbia qualified for the last eight before they were beaten by the Czech Republic. He is currently on a run of 20 straight victories in the Davis Cup, with a 39-7 record proving ominous should GB be paired against the 36-year-old’s Serbia in the draw.
Murray would no doubt relish the chance to face the 24-time Grand Slam winner again as the two friendly rivals haven’t faced each other since 2017. The last time they met, Djokovic beat Murray in the final of the Doha Open to strengthen his record in the head-to-head to 25-11.
The three-time Major winner was complimentary about Djokovic after his US Open success over Daniil Medvedev and praised his evergreen condition to see off younger players. Now, it remains to be seen whether he will get perhaps one last chance to face him before winding down his career.
“Novak’s been an incredible player for a very long time, like Roger and Rafa, it’s the longevity and how long they’ve all been able to do that for,” Murray said, as quoted by BBC Sport. “Novak’s longevity has been the greatest. He’s played at this level for such a long time now.”
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