Best Case Miami, Worst Case Surgery And No Wimbledon: Andy Murray’s Comeback Conundrum - UBITENNIS
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Best Case Miami, Worst Case Surgery And No Wimbledon: Andy Murray’s Comeback Conundrum

The former world No.1 has shed light on his current health and the difficult situation he is currently facing.

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The return of three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray to competitive tennis could take place as early as next month, but it is an extremely complex situation.

 

Murray, who hasn’t played on the tour since the Davis Cup in November, has been sidelined from action due to bruising around the pelvic area. Something that has forced him to delay his comeback date numerous times already this season. Now the former world No.1 has admitted that he faces a critical period in the coming weeks, which will determine if he will be able to resume his career without another surgery.

Providing an update on his current fitness, the 32-year-old believes his slow progress this season is linked to his hip resurfacing surgery. A career-saving procedure he underwent at the start of 2019. Currently undergoing training and rehabilitation, the Brit is seeking clarity on what direction he needs to go next. The hope is that he will be able to play in Miami at the end of March, but the possibility of a surgical procedure could end those plans.

“I have not had lots of clarity as to what the issue actually is, because it is difficult to tell,” BBC Sport quoted Murray as saying.
“What I need to do just now is build up in these next couple of weeks to really test it. I will really test the hip out. Hopefully it responds fine.
“I should know by the end of next month whether I’m good to play or not with it. But I think I am now at a point where we’re pretty sure as to what is going on.”

Unfortunately for Murray the options are not as simple as he would like it to be. It is believed that the discomfort he has been experiencing in recent time in the groin area is related to soft tissue growing around his metal hip. The medical term is called heterotopic ossification, which is defined as an abnormal growth of bone in the non-skeletal tissues.

This theory is however hard to establish as it can be difficult to interpret a scan of a metal hip. Leaving Murray in limbo with the hope he will not have to go under the knife for the third time within as many years. If he is required to undergo an operation, he has been warned that the procedure could be delayed due to ongoing growth in his groin. Something will likely rule him out of Wimbledon and even the Olympics.

“The issue is if you try to remove that too early, while it is still active in the process of growing, it just grows straight back,” Murray explained.
“If I have to have that removed because it is what is causing the problem, then that is a pain … It’s not that long an operation really in terms of the rehab and stuff. But it’s just if I wasn’t able to have it until May or whatever, with six to eight weeks’ rehab, then that would mean missing that period.”

Nevertheless, Murray is staying upbeat on his recovery chances with hopes that the issue will naturally settle down. There is no actual damage to his artificial hip at present. Should it do, he has his sight set on playing on the European clay for the first time since the 2017 French Open.

“There’s no reason not to, because I don’t have an injury as such. It’s just whether that settles with time and the body gets used to it, and whether you are able to manage it when playing.” He said.
“I would [then] play on clay, for sure. If physically I am fine and this responds well to the training again, there is no reason for me not to. In many ways, the clay should actually be better for a metal joint because it is softer impact-wise.
“I do want to keep playing. It’s just whether I’m able to or not is the question. I want to play in the Slams again. That’s what excites me and interests me. That is the thing that I have missed over these last few years.”

So far in his career, Murray has won 46 ATP titles and has spent 41 consecutive weeks as world No.1. He is the first British man in history to top the ATP rankings and the only player to successfully defend an Olympic title.

“I might be playing in the next few weeks. That’s what I hope, but over the last couple of years I have become quite pessimistic about time frames and stuff because of what has gone on, and what has been said to me.” He concluded.

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Nick Kyrgios Slams Thiem Over Defence Of Controversy-Stricken Adria Tour

The world No.40 has accused the Austrian of lacking an ‘intellectual level’ to understand his view.

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Australian star Nick Kyrgios has continued his public criticism of the Adria Tour by taking aim at two-time French Open finalist Dominic Thiem.

 

The 25-year-old has repeatedly hit out at the exhibition event, which Thiem participated in. Organised by world No.1 Novak Djokovic, the event took place in Belgrade and Zadar before it was scrapped following an outbreak of COVID-19 among both players and coaching staff. Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric all got infected. The outbreak came after the Adria Tour was criticised for a lack of social distancing and players attended various public events together. Although at the time, all of their actions were done in accordance with local regulations. Something the Serbian Prime Minister now admits was a mistake.

However, Thiem has called out Kyrgios over his vocal criticism of fellow Adria Tour competitor Alexander Zverev. The German attended a party in southern France less than a week after the COVID-19 outbreak despite issuing a statement saying he would go into self-isolation.

“It was his mistake, but I don’t why a lot of people want to interfere. Kyrgios has done a lot of mistakes. It would be better for him to come clear instead of criticising others,” Thiem told Tiroler Tageszeitung.

Continuing to defend the actions of his fellow players, Thiem also jumped to the defence of Djokovic. Who has been under heavy criticism over the event with some going as far as questioning his position as president of the ATP Players Council.

“He didn’t commit a crime. We all make mistakes, but I don’t understand all the criticism. I’ve been to Nice and also saw pictures from other cities. It’s no different from Belgrade during the tournament. It’s too cheap to shoot at Djokovic.”

The comments have now been blasted by Kyrgios, who stands by his previous criticism of players. Accusing Thiem of lacking an ‘intellectual level’ to see his point of view.

“What are you talking about @ThiemDomi? Mistakes like smashing rackets? Swearing? Tanking a few matches here or there? Which everyone does?” Kyrgios wrote on Twitter.
“None of you have the intellectual level to even understand where I’m coming from. I’m trying to hold them accountable.”
“People losing lives, loved ones and friends, and then Thiem standing up for the ‘mistake,'” he added.

The COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 500,000 people worldwide and some players have voiced concerns over travelling to America which has recently seen a rise in cases. On Wednesday Alexi Popyrin became the first player to say he won’t play the US Open due to health concerns.

The ATP Tour is set to resume next month but it is unclear as to what events Thiem and Kyrgios will be playing in.

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Roger Federer Eyeing Olympic Glory At The Age Of 39 In 2021

The Swiss tennis star isn’t ready to step away from the sport just yet.

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20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has vowed to play at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo after undergoing two surgeries on his knee.

 

The former world No.1 hasn’t played a competitive match since his semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open in January. Since then he had twice undergone arthroscopic surgeries which is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to diagnose and treat problems with the joints. Federer announced shortly after having the procedure done for a second time that he will not be returning to the Tour again this year.

Despite the setbacks, the 38-year-old has vowed to return to action at the start of 2021 with Olympic glory one of his main targets. He is already a two-time Olympic medallist after winning gold in the men’s doubles back in 2008 followed by silver in the singles draw at the 2012 London Games.

“My goal is to play Tokyo 2021. It’s a wonderful city. I met my wife in my first Olympics in 2000. It’s a special event for me,” Federer said on Monday during the launch of ‘The Roger’ shoe with Swiss brand ON.
“I had two surgeries and I can’t hit at the moment, but I’m very confident I will be totally ready for 2021.
“I do miss playing in front of the fans, no doubt. Now, I think if tennis comes back we know it won’t be in a normal way where we can have full crowds yet.”

Federer will be 39 when he returns to action, but is yet to speculate as to when he may close the curtain on his record-breaking career. He is currently the second oldest man in the top 200 on the ATP Tour after Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic, who is 41.

Besides the Olympics, the Swiss Maestro is also setting his eye on Wimbledon where he has claimed the men’s title a record eight times. However, he hasn’t won a major title since the 2018 Australian Open. The Grass-court major has been cancelled this year for the first time since 1945 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Of course I miss Wimbledon, of course I would like to be there currently playing on Centre Court for a place in the second week,” he said.
“Clearly, one of my big goals, and that’s why I do recovery work every day and work so hard, and why I’m preparing for a 20-week physical preparation block this year, is because I hope to play at Wimbledon next year.”

Even though he is not playing for the rest of the year, Federer incredibly still has a chance of qualifying for the ATP Finals due to recent changes in the rankings calculations. Due to the pandemic, players are now allowed to use their best results at 18 tournaments based on a 22-month period instead of 12 months. Something that could enable him to remain inside the top eight until the end of 2020 depending on how his rivals fair.

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ATP Announces 22-Month Ranking System To Support Players Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Parts of the changes have been done to help support those who prefer not to or can not travel to tournaments due to safety concerns.

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The ATP Tour has revised their calculations for this year’s ranking system with the governing body admitting that the new changes could also be applied in 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Players on the men’s Tour have been given a wider period where they can select their best tournaments to determine their ranking. Prior to the suspension of competitive tennis, male players were allowed to select their 18 best performances in tournaments within a 52-week period. This has now been expanded to 22 months (March 2019-December 2020). Although they are not allowed to use the same tournament twice.

In a press release the ATP says their new measures allows ‘flexibility and fairness’ with players on the tour. Furthermore, it has been designed with the possibility of the rules continuing into 2021 should the ongoing pandemic continue to disrupt the Tour in some degree. Outlining their objectives, the ATP says one of their goals is to protect those who ‘cannot or prefer not to compete in 2020 due to health & safety.’ A point recently raised by Australian player Alexei Popyrin who has voiced concerns about playing at the US Open.

“There are talks regarding the US Open but I really don’t want to go with the situation in America right now,” Popyrin said at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown over the weekend.
“But we have to see if we would be forced to go because of ranking points.
“If the ranking points won’t be frozen, then most of us would be forced to go play cause our ranking will drop and we wouldn’t have any say in it.
“But if the rankings are frozen, then I am staying here.
“I will stay in Europe where it’s safe with my family.”

As a result of the changes, it remains to be seen if this will have any effect on other players concerning their decision to play at the New York major which will be held behind closed doors for the first time in history. Some parts of America have reported a surge in COVID-19 cases with 52,228 New Cases being reported on July 5th.

Under the new calculations, no player will have less ranking points than what they currently have at present. The ATP rankings have been frozen since March 16th but will resume on the Monday after the first tournament in the revised calendar concludes.

There are exceptions to the new 22-month ruling. Qualification for the ATP Finals will still be based on 52 weeks because the event is classed as an ‘additional tournament.’ Therefore it doesn’t count as one of the 18 key events to determine a player’s ranking. Points from last year’s tournament will drop off on November 9th after the Paris Masters. The reason for doing so is to make the chances of qualifying more fair. Furthermore Challenger and ITF events will also be based on the 52-week rule because ‘events are scheduled on a one-year basis and do not have consistent spots in the calendar.’

The ATP Tour is set to resume at the Citi Open in Washington during the second week of August.

A full FAQ of the new ranking system can be read here.

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