Saturday, June 15, 2024

Andy Murray has ‘great memories’ from French Open but no ‘perfect ending’ – BBC Sport

Must read

Image caption, Andy Murray, who was runner-up in 2016, may have played his final French Open singles match

  • Author, Jonathan Jurejko
  • Role, BBC Sport journalist at Roland Garros

Running along one of the stands on Court Philippe Chatrier is a quote attributed to Roland Garros.

“Victory belongs to the most tenacious,” proclaimed Garros, the pioneering 20th century aviator after whom the French Open venue is named.

Andy Murray has certainly proved to be one of the most tenacious players of his generation during a proud career.

Victory did not belong to the 37-year-old, however, in the men’s singles first round at what is expected to be his last French Open.

The British former world number one is likely to retire later this year, although has not yet outlined his exact plans.

“There has been a lot of talk about the right, or best, ways to go out from playing tennis. There is no perfect ending in most scenarios,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“I’d like to go out with winning a match or winning a tournament but it doesn’t really happen that way for most players.”

Murray’s tenacity has been illustrated by his achievements at the French Open.

Clay courts have not “always been easy” for him, as he admitted again after losing 6-4 6-4 6-2 to fellow veteran and 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka on Sunday.

Yet, he has reached the final at Roland Garros – the pinnacle of the surface and its ultimate test – when he lost to Novak Djokovic in 2016. He appeared in semi-finals in four other years and lost in the quarter-finals on two other occasions in his 12 appearances.

Added to that, the Scot won some of the biggest ATP Tour titles on the red dirt.

“I did really well here over the years. I think the issue for me is that when you compare it to what Rafa [Nadal] or Novak achieved in the same time, it obviously is minuscule in comparison,” Murray said.

“But most players would sign up for the results I’ve had here.”

Spain’s Nadal has won a record 14 French Open titles, with Djokovic triumphing three times.

“I lost to Novak in five [sets], Stan in five [sets], and twice to Rafa. Obviously, no shame in that.

“In a different time maybe the results would have been a bit different.

“But I’m proud of the results that I had here and I had great memories.”

Murray’s French Open is not over yet as he is scheduled to play in the men’s doubles alongside fellow Briton Dan Evans.

It may also not be his final trip to Roland Garros, with the venue hosting the tennis competitions at this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris.

“My body isn’t what it was 10 years ago. I’m fully aware of that,” Murray said.

“It takes a lot of time and effort to get it in a position to go out there and compete. It’s not always perfect.

“But I still enjoy giving [it] a go and trying to get myself out there and be as competitive as possible.”

Latest article