“He’s Feeling Well on the Court”: Novak Djokovic Sees Encouraging Signs in Andy Murray After Italian Open 2021 Practice

Published 05/11/2021, 3:18 AM EDT
Andy Murray of Great Britain reacts during the Mens Singles Final against John Isner of the United States on day seven of the BNP Paribas Masters at Palais Omnisports de Bercy on in Paris, France. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Though anxious ahead of a much-anticipated return to competitive tennis, Andy Murray has received words of encouragement from old rival and sparring partner Novak Djokovic.


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After hitting with the three-time Grand Slam champion, the current World No. 1 said that Murray moved quite well despite being away from action for a long while and also considering that he was getting to grips with clay, a surface that can prove tricky at the best of times.

The 33-year-old Scott won’t compete in Rome but has travelled to the Italian capital to hit with some of the best and find his groove before making his competitive comeback at Lyon or Geneva next week.


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The two-time Wimbledon champion, who made an appearance at Rotterdam this year, was forced into the sidelines again after picking up a groin injury, apparently in his sleep!

He also skipped some events to free up time for dad duty after his wife Kim Sears gave birth to their fourth child.

Novak Djokovic was very happy to see Andy Murray in action again

Murray hit practice with current World No. 10 and accomplished clay-courter Diego Schwartzman on Sunday and followed up with a sparring session with the reigning Australian Open champion on Monday.

Djokovic, who has had a stop-start season, especially on clay as he skipped the Madrid Open after unsuccessful runs at Monte-Carlo Masters and the Serbia Open, was happy to put himself through an intense sparring session with the Scot before opening his campaign in Rome.

The Serb, whose on-court rivalry with Murray goes back to their junior days, said that he was “very happy” to see him back on court after a long time and enjoyed hitting with him again.

“I thought he played very well on the court. He moves well, considering it’s clay, which is not the best surface for his hips,” Djokovic said.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 10: Novak Djokovic of Serbia talks with Andy Murray of Great Britain before their practice match ahead of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 10, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic says Murray looked in good shape at practice

Djokovic added that given the injury episodes Murray has had in the recent past, he thought Murray looked in fairly good shape in practice.


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“Considering what he has been through lately, I think it seems like he’s feeling well on the court. That’s what he’s saying and that’s what it appears on the court itself,” the Serb said.

He revealed that the two also refreshed some old memories and had fun on the sidelines of practice.


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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.