Andy Murray declares Rafael Nadal's 13 French Opens as possibly the 'best record in sport'
It looks good for Andy Murray as he plans to get back on the winning path for the rest of the year - GETTY IMAGES
According to Andy Murray, no one will ever accomplish Rafael Nadal's feat of winning 13 French Open. In fact, no one will come near. As Murray told reporters Monday, "It's one of the best records in the sport, maybe the best."
Murray spoke in Cologne, where he is supposed to play against Fernando Verdasco at the bett1HULKS Indoors on Tuesday, and was asked to give his opinion on who will finish with the most majors of the "Big Three" men - the same "Big Three" have in over the past decade repeatedly suppressed its own ambitions.
In response, Murray insisted that fitness could potentially make the debate, stating that "someone can get hurt, have a problem like me, and it will change your entire career."
As long as all three are lucky on this front, he doesn't expect 39-year-old Roger Federer to stay on the Grand Slam table much longer.
"Provided they all stay fit and if they all retire at the same age I would think it would be between Rafa and Novak [Djokovic]," said Murray.
Rafael Nadal with the obligatory shot of the trophy and the Eiffel Tower one day after winning his 13th French Open - SHUTTERSTOCK
To get back to this week's event, Verdasco - who ranks 62nd - hasn't played much tennis since his bone damage on the top of his right leg almost a year ago. His only outing after the lockdown on the ATP tour was last month in Rome, where he suffered a 6-, 6-2 defeat by Damir Dzumhur, despite having appeared a few times in Patrick Mouratoglou's UTS series.
"The first game is tough for me," said Murray, who suffered a dramatic four-set loss to Verdasco at the 2018 US Open while still hampered by his arthritic right hip.
“Verdasco is a very good player. I've had a lot of tough games with him in the past. It's pretty slow conditions here that I think he likes. "
When asked about his ambitions for the rest of the season, Murray said, “I spoke a little with my coach about this today and set some goals for where I want to be in terms of the leaderboard. I want to try to win tournaments. Indoor hard courts were a good surface for me. "
Murray is a humble number 115 but is encouraged by his performance in Antwerp at the same stage last year. That was the tournament where he got into the game without much form but still scored five straight wins to claim the title, beating Stan Wawrinka in a final by three sets.
Commenting on the whims of his new metal hip, Murray said, "Sometimes it worked really well and sometimes it didn't work that well. I was told it was going to be an 18 month process before my body got used to it. It's not just the fact that you got a new hip, but it also changes the way your pelvis moves. "
Murray ended up optimistic. "I hope that 2021 will be a good year over the next few months with more games, more tournaments and a training period into the new year."
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