Andy Murray vs. Dominic Thiem: A One-of-a-Kind Clash in Madrid

Andy Murray vs. Dominic Thiem: A One-of-a-Kind Clash in Madrid Photo: TT
Andy Murray playing at the Winston-Salem Open. August, 2021. USA. Photo credit: Dreamstime.

Two-time Mutua Madrid Open titlist, Andy Murray, will open his campaign at the ATP Masters 1000 event against 2020 U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem Monday.

Former world number one Andy Murray has accepted a wild card to play at the Mutua Madrid Open after reviewing his decision to skip the clay season.

Murray’s opening match, his first on the surface since Roland-Garros 2020, will see the Scot facing Austrian Dominic Thiem, with the latter contesting his first Masters 1000 tournament since his return to action from injury.

The Caja Magica (Magic Box) Stadium will witness their fifth encounter at tour-level, with the players tied 2-2 in their Head2Head Series.

Murray, who underwent two hip surgeries between 2018 and 2019, has been battling to recover his best tennis, and in 2022, the hard work has started to pay off.

In January, the 34-year-old reached his first ATP final in over two years at the Sydney Tennis Classic tournament held in Australia.

Despite losing the championship match to the top seed Aslan Karatsev at the Ken Rosewall Arena, he left the event with positive feelings, displaying great tennis across the venue.

After the high-quality encounter, he commented: “Unfortunately, the result didn’t go my way tonight, but I’ll keep trying my best to come back and have more nights like this.”

Early in January, he broke into the top 100, currently standing at World No. 81 in the ATP Rankings.

Moreover, last March, the three-time Grand Slam champion achieved his 700th career win in Indian Wells at the BNP Paribas Open over Japanese player Taro Daniel.

Only weeks before, the two-time Olympic gold medalist had announced a reunion with former coach and tennis icon Ivan Lendl, joining forces for the third time in preparation for the grass season.

For his part, Thiem spent eight months sidelined from tour due to a wrist injury, experiencing challenging setbacks on his way back to tour-level competition.

The former world number three arrived in Madrid from Portugal, where he contested the Millennium Estoril Open.

He met Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi, to whom he fell in straight sets in his opener.

The day following his defeat, Thiem wrote on Twitter: “I know it will take time for me to regain my perfect strength and my full potential. But I am ready to embark on this path. My aim is to do my best every day to take full advantage of my potential.”

Adding: “Each day, I notice that I get stronger and feel better from practice to practice and now also from one match to another. It is a process that takes time.”

In June 2021, the 17-time ATP titlist sustained a “detachment of posterior sheath of the right ulnar wrist” while hitting a forehand at the grass-court tournament Mallorca Championships.

Since then, the lingering injury has kept Thiem away from the tennis courts, consequently falling in the ATP Ranking, sitting at No. 93.

Last month, he played at the Serbia Open against Australian John Millman, who defeated the Austrian player in three sets.

But ahead of taking part in the ATP 250 venues, he tested himself at the Anytech365 Andalucia Open, an ATP Challenger held in Marbella, Spain.

And though he lost in the first round to Argentine Pedro Cachin in straight sets, he moved forward, continuing the hard work on and off-court, adapting his game to keep improving his form.

The Murray-Thiem blockbuster match is one not to be missed, with the former seeking to win his first title this season while the latter aims for his first victory of the year.

Cecilia demartini
Sports Pundit staff writer @ceci_2812
Cecilia is a writer and journalist, passionate about motorsport and tennis.Her articles are published in newspapers and international online publications.

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