Former world-ranked number one tennis player Andy Murray had his marathon run at this year’s Australian Open halted on Saturday in a third-round loss to Roberto Bautista Agut.
But, it was the two matches before the loss to Agut that had the tennis world talking. Murray had spent more than 10 and a half hours on the court heading into Saturday’s match which included a ridiculous two-set comeback to beat Thanasi Kokkinakis. That match alone lasted five hours and 45 minutes and was the longest of Murray’s storied career.
It was another impressive turnout at a major tournament for Murray who continues to regain his form after hip resurfacing surgery.
Murray’s performance at the Australian Open continued to prove a lot of people wrong who thought he was done as a professional athlete, which apparently includes medical professionals.
“Two days ago I randomly bumped into the doctor who in 2017 told me ‘the good news is the problem you have in your hip can be fixed but you won’t be able to play professional sport again.’ I think we dispelled that myth the last 5 days,” Murray wrote on Twitter.
2 days ago I randomly bumped into the doctor who in 2017 told me “the good news is the problem you have in your hip can be fixed but you won’t be able to play professional sport again.” I think we dispelled that myth the last 5 days.😉Goodnight ❤️
— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) January 21, 2023
Murray is nearly four years to the day removed from having hip-resurfacing surgery on January 28, 2019.
That hip resurfacing surgery is the same one that Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom recently returned from earlier in the month. Backstrom said he consulted with Murray about the rehab process after going under the knife.
“I talked to a couple of guys that has come back doing sports after,” Backstrom told NBC Sports Washington in September. “Andy Murray, [NBA player] Isaiah Thomas, a couple guys in the Swedish Elite League play hockey too. All of them have been positive. That’s obviously good to hear for me that’s going through it. Just going to take it one day at a time and week at a time.”
Here is how another recipient of the surgery, former NHL defenseman Ed Jovanovski described the procedure.
“They dislocate your joint,” Jovanovski told Craig Custance in 2014. “Pull it out of your leg. Then shave the femoral head down to a certain size and cap it with titanium. Then do the same for your socket, shaving out the socket and hammering in a new socket where everything kind of joins together.”
Andy Murray’s career explained in a single point. Oh my goodness! pic.twitter.com/F3QvMz3pY9
— Gaspar Ribeiro Lança (@gasparlanca) January 19, 2023
In 20 Grand Slam matches for Murray post-hip surgery, 14 of them have gone beyond three hours.
With Backstrom now amid his own return and looking better every game he plays, he’s now looking to inspire others after Murray inspired him.
“When I started feeling really good I was like hopefully this can inspire other people that has these issues,” Backstrom said on Monday. “That’s something that drove me through my rehab. A lot of people probably didn’t expect me to be back out there. I wanted to prove to those people that for the love of the game I want to get back out there. And, here I am.”
The Swedish playmaker has recorded three assists in six games since getting back on the ice for the first time on January 8.
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