Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic

Andy Murray claims Djokovic is more ‘consistent’ than Nadal and Federer

Andy Murray has praised Novak Djokovic for his consistency, but the former No.1 was more damning about his own season claiming that he ‘would like the year to have gone better’.

Murray has returned to China for the first time since 2019, with the three-time major winner safely making his way into the second round of the ATP 250 event in Zhuhai after beating Chinese wildcard Mo Ye Cong.

Despite the straight sets win, Murray was very candid about his season after the match, “Look, I would like the year to have gone better, for sure. There have been some good moments, but also some tough losses as well. It’s been up and down.

“I got up to my highest ranking (No.36) a few weeks ago since I had the hip operation so that’s positive and shows that although it’s not as fast a trajectory as I would have liked, I’m still going in the right direction.”

Murray lost to eventual champion Alex de Minaur on the only previous occasion the Zhuhai Championships were held, and is hoping for a ‘strong finish’ before the tennis calendar curtails for 2023.

“I’ve got an opportunity with these last five or six tournaments at the end of the year to have a strong finish, so that’s what I’m hoping for here,” explained Murray.

He added, “I really enjoyed my last visit to Zhuhai. It’s a beautiful city and a great city with great fans. It’s great to be playing tennis in China again and I am really looking forward to coming back to play at the Hengqin International Tennis Centre.”

While the ‘big three’ are more commonly known, there was a stage where it was framed as a ‘big four’ with Murray making his way into the fray.

And the 36-year-old has commented on Djokovic claiming a 24th major title at the US Open, comparing the Serb to rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

“The motivation and energy to keep winning and keep performing at that level is brilliant,” said Murray. “Of all of them, Roger, Rafa, they have all had long careers, but certainly none of them, I think, have played at the level that Novak is at in this phase of their careers in a consistent way.”

One thing that Murray has achieved that ‘the big three’ have not is winning back to back gold medals at the Olympic Games, and the Brit is hoping to play what is ‘most likely the last one’ of his career in Paris next year.

“I’d love to play another Olympics. I’ve had thrilling experiences throughout my career at the Olympics. I’ve loved every single one I’ve been involved in,” said the three-time Olympic medallist.

The British No.3 continued, “I was really disappointed last time. I’d gotten an injury before the tournament and I promised my partner (Joe Salisbury) I’d prioritise the doubles over singles if there was a problem. And we were very close to getting a medal in the doubles.

“We were up a set and 4-3, serving with game points in the quarter-finals and we had a really good chance and didn’t quite do it. I’d love another opportunity to play next year in Paris. It would be my fifth Olympics and most likely the last one.”

Before Murray can turn his attention to the Olympics next year, he will need to focus on his second round match in Zhuhai against Aslan Karatsev tomorrow.

Andy Murray in 2023

While Andy Murray does not seem overly pleased by his season, he has collected three titles, but has not managed the deep run at a major tournament that he was so desperately hoping for:

Overall win-loss record: 30-15 (67%)

Best Results: Doha Final (ATP 250), Won Aix en Provence, Surbiton and Nottingham (All ATP Challengers)

Grand Slam win-loss record: 4-3 (57%)

Best Result: Australian Open Third Round

 Join >> Receive $700/£600 of tennis gear from the Tennishead CLUB

 Social >> FacebookTwitter & YouTube

 Read >> World’s best tennis magazine

 Shop >> Lowest price tennis gear from our trusted partner 

Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.