Andy Murray has shown his renowned fighting spirit throughout the early stages of this season. The 35-year-old has already won three matches after being one point away from defeat. Now he’s poised to display another big effort at the 2023 BNP Paribas Open.
Despite competing with a metal hip, Murray has continued his career at a high level including in Doha this past month, when the Scot reached the final (l. Medvedev) after saving five match points to defeat Jiri Lehecka in the final four. Now he’s looking to show his best tennis at the season’s first ATP Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells.
“I want to have deep runs in these events,” Murray said. “That hasn’t happened in a couple years. I do feel like I’m playing well enough to do that now. I feel like physically this is the best I’ve felt for a long time so if I do have to play three or four matches in a few days, I believe that I’m able to do that and still play at a high level.
“Even 18 months or two years ago, when that was happening, I didn’t feel like I was recovering as well. [My] body [might’ve] been a bit sore and a bit tired, but I’ve worked really hard to get back to this point and I trust that I’m ready to have a good run at some stage.”
This year will be Murray’s 15th trip to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, where his best result is a runner-up finish in 2009 (l. Nadal). The World No. 55 may have slightly different expectations at this stage of his career, but he’s still soaking in every opportunity he gets.
“I’ve always enjoyed coming back here,” Murray said. “At this stage of my career, you want to make the most of every chance you get to play in these sorts of events. You never know when it will be the last time. Definitely try to take it all in.”
Murray will meet Tomas Martin Etcheverry in the opening round on Thursday. The Argentine reached his first tour-level final at last week’s 250 event in Santiago (l. Jarry). The winner of Murray and Etcheverry will face 15th seed Pablo Carreno Busta in the second round.
Despite Murray’s potential round of 32 clash against Daniel Evans or Jack Draper, the Glasgow native isn’t going to get caught looking ahead to a first-time meeting against his countrymen.
“There’s a lot of Brits in my section of the draw but I’d have to win two tough matches to get there,” Murray said. “Let’s see what happens.”