Andy Murray has started his comeback after a hip resurfacing surgery by playing doubles, including taking a title at the 2019 Fever-Tree Championships at Queen’s Club. After the Rogers Cup, Murray announced that he is done with doubles for now and has started to make his return to the singles tour.
The 3-time Grand Slam champion lost his opening matches at both Cincinnati (to Richard Gasquet) and Winston-Salem (to Tennys Sandgren). He made a surprise announcement that he will not take part in any competition at the 2019 US Open, and might instead try to play a Challenger event during the two-weeks period.
It’s not exactly unknown territory for top players to make their comeback through Challengers; Andre Agassi famously did that playing a small tournament in Las Vegas back in 1997, and very recently Kei Nishikori started his 2018 campaign by playing two ATP Challenger Tour events at Newport Beach and Dallas.
Murray will play the Rafa Nadal Banc Open Sabadell, which is the second edition of a Challenger tournament in the 18-time Grand Slam Spanish champion’s hometown–Manacor, Mallorca. Bernard Tomic is the defending champion but he chose not to play the tournament this year. The Rafa Nadal Banc Open Sabadell is played on hard courts.
Andy Murray Challenger History
Murray will be playing his first ATP Challenger Tour event since 2005. The Scot has two titles at this level, 2005 Aptos (defeated Rajeev Ram) and 2005 Binghampton (defeated Alejandro Falla). His last Challenger Tour appearance was in Mons, Belgium, where he retired down 5-7, 0-1 to Xavier Malisse in the quarterfinals.
The field in Mallorca will consist of many high-ranked players who did not make it to the US Open. As for Murray, he will not stay on the Challenger Tour for long, as he already announced plans to play ATP events in Zhuhai and Beijing at the end of September.
If you live anywhere near Mallorca it is a great occasion to see Murray live, as entrance to the tournament is free.
Main Photo from Getty.