Andy Murray says he's in the 'bad books' after losing ring
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Andy Murray has received huge support after being likened to Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. In the Brit’s prime, he was seen as the biggest rival to the Big Three, managing to get to world No 1 and win three Grand Slams during their dominance. Two former professional players have now admitted they believe Murray was well and truly a part of the ‘Big Four’.
Murray is currently playing in Indian Wells for the first time since March 2017.
Since his last appearance in the Californian desert, the Brit has gone on to spend several years on the sidelines as he has battled an ongoing hip injury, undergoing two surgeries including a hip resurfacing back in 2019.
While Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have all had their own injury woes in recent years, the Big Three members have all been able to win more Major titles and get back to world No 1 following their prolonged breaks from the tour, while the Brit is yet to return to the top of the game.
However, he is the only one of the four in Indian Wells this week and is looking more like his old self following an impressive three-set comeback win against 30th seed Carlos Alcaraz in the third round.
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With Murray now sitting down at world No 121 and still struggling to go deep in tournaments, it has given the Big Three a chance to pull away and cement themselves as the greatest players of all time while the Brit’s former successes have been overshadowed.
However, he has now been compared to the 20-time Grand Slam champions and commended for his ability to contend for Major titles alongside them.
“He was one guy to get to number one, to be number one at the end of the way in the midst of the Big Three and their dominance,” former world No 6 Chanda Rubin said on Tennis Channel.
“And you also consider, obviously they’ve won a few more Slams since Murray has been injured and coming back. And so the landscape has changed a bit but we can’t change what was, at that moment, the Big Four in my opinion.”
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Rubin, who was also a top-ten player in doubles, said she believed the Big Four was a valid saying and thought Murray deserved to be spoken about alongside Djokovic, Federer and Nadal.
She added: “And Andy Murray was solidly in that mix, he was the guy who could at many moment win a Slam alongside those other three guys. And so I think absolutely, Big Four, it’s legit.”
Former world No 4 James Blake agreed with Rubin and also sung Murray’s praises.
“I totally agree. It’s the Big Four,” the current Miami Open tournament director said.
“It obviously has become the Big Three since his injury but I agree that Andy Murray was the guy that absolutely could win a Slam and had the unfortunate luck of being, so many times, the runner-up to those Big Three in Slam finals.”
Meanwhile in Indian Wells, the former world No 1 is preparing to face Alexander Zverev for the third time in his career.
Murray has never lost to the recent Olympic gold medallist, with his most recent victory over Zverev coming at last year’s Western and Southern Open.
Despite holding a 2-0 win-loss record against the world No 4, the Brit put all the pressure on his opponent ahead of their clash, saying: “He’ll certainly go in as the overwhelming favourite. But if I play a high-level match, I’ll be right in there.”
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