“This Is What Happens When You Practice With Andy Murray”: Novak Djokovic After Tennis Ball Fail at Italian Open 2021

Published 05/10/2021, 11:11 AM EDT
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)


Andy Murray has played a few matches in 2021. A positive COVID-19 test followed by an injury has ruled him out majorly. However, now trying his best to return to fitness, Murray is in Rome practicing with players who are playing in the Italian Open 2021. And recently Murray’s training partner was World No.1 Novak Djokovic.

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The two rivals last faced each other back in 2017. Since then, the Briton has seen his injury troubles derail his career. Now Murray is ranked outside the top 100 but is still striving to play.

Andy Murray of Great Britain smiles on court. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

While practicing on the clay courts of Rome, Djokovic and Murray had a sweet little reunion. In a video released by the ATP, Djokovic was surprised when during a rally their tennis ball depressurized and squashed.

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“That hasn’t happened in a long time,” Djokovic said.

Later, as Djokovic showed the state of the ball, he complimented Murray’s fierce hitting that might have still remained despite the injury troubles.

“This is what happens when you practice with Andy Murray,” Djokovic said.

Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray practice in Rome


Murray arrived in Rome yesterday. He first shared the court with Argentine ace Diego Schwartzman before practicing with Cristian Garin as well.

Andy Murray’s 2021

Murray’s 2021 campaign was supposed to start in the Australian Open 2021 but a late COVID-19 positive test ruled him out for weeks.

Then, prior to Miami Open 2021, a groin injury ruled him out of action for the tournament as well as the start of the clay season. Now he is battling for match fitness before making a comeback atn Geneva or Lyon. It is unsure whether the former World No.1 will play French Open 2021.

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But Murray has an additional focus on the grass-court season as well, especially the Queen’s Club Championships. He is a five-time champ there, and with crowds reportedly permitted for the tournament, it will be great for Murray to perform in front of his home crowd.

“It’s been such a difficult time for everyone and it will be great to play in front of home fans in Britain again. The tournament at Queen’s has always meant a lot to me – it’s where I won my first ATP match, I’ve won the singles at Queen’s more than any other in my career, and I’ll never forget our doubles title in 2019. I can’t wait to get back out there.”

After Queens, Murray has his eyes on Wimbledon, followed by the Tokyo Olympics. Will Andy Murray be ready for Wimbledon and the Olympics?

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Bhavishya Mittal

1087 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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