Andy Murray will continue his comeback in Cologne this week, after his defeat to Wawrinka in Paris the Brit continued with preparations for two additional events added to the ATP Calendar.
The plan is to play back to back events in Cologne on the indoor hard courts which is something Murray hasn’t done for a while on the ATP Tour. During the summer he did play indoor hard singles tennis in the Battle of the Brits event at Roehampton making the semi-finals but is bidding to build his match rhythm up.
Murray was heavily criticised by Mats Wilander in Paris following his exit despite it being his first clay court match in over three months with the former major champion saying:
“I worry about Andy Murray. I would love to hear him say why he is out there, giving us a false sense of hope that he going to come back one day. I keep getting a little bit disappointed, is it his right to be out there doing that? Why? I did it and I shouldn’t have, it was the biggest mistake I did in my career. I think Andy Murray needs to stop thinking of himself and start thinking about who he was. Does he have a right to be out there taking wildcards from the young players?“
Even these disgraceful comments thankfully aren’t going to stop Murray and they shouldn’t even take a up a moment of thought in this comeback process.
The draws for Murray in Cologne is difficult as he comes up against the tenacious Spaniard in Fernando Verdasco.
It will the seventeenth meeting between these two with the first going all the way back to 2003 when Andy and Fernando played each other in a challenger event in Spain which Fernando won 6-1 6-3 but on the ATP tour Murray won 14 of their first 15 meetings.
In recent years the Spaniard has won the previous two meetings back in 2018 but have always played some great battles.
The one that sticks in the mind is of course that Wimbledon match in 2013 when Murray came from two sets down in the quarter finals to win in five and went onto win his first Wimbledon title.
It’s a tough opener for both and it could get tougher against Alex Zverev in round two, the German who is the top seed has been once again under fire lately for failing to disclose his flu symptoms before his defeat to Jannik Sinner in Paris.