Andy Murray has won only one tour-level match since last September but hopes that being among the leading players in Rome, even though he will not be in the tournament, will prove beneficial as he prepares for the French Open, which begins on May 30
Last Updated: 10/05/21 7:40pm
Andy Murray continued his bid to return to fitness in time for next month’s French Open after practising with world No 1 Novak Djokovic in Rome.
Murray, runner-up to Djokovic at Roland Garros in 2016, is not guaranteed a place in the main draw via a wild card this year after suffering a groin injury which has sidelined him since early March.
The injury has kept him out of this week’s Internazionali BNL d’Italia in the Italian capital, although the Brit, who has fallen to 123 in the world rankings, is hoping to receive a wild card to play in either of the ATP events in Geneva or Lyon from May 17.
The Scot has said he would play through the qualifiers in Paris in a bid to win a place in the main draw.
Murray took to the court with Argentine Diego Schwartzman in Rome on Sunday and the 33-year-old was back out hitting balls on the dirt with Djokovic on Monday.
Djokovic gave an encouraging assessment of Murray’s prospects for his latest comeback after their hit.
“I was very happy to see him. I haven’t seen him in a while, and it was great to hit with him,” said Djokovic, who is a week younger than Murray and has been a rival since their junior days.
“I thought he played very well on the court. He moves well considering it’s clay, which is not the best surface for his hips.
“But, considering what he has been through lately, I think it seems like he’s been feeling well on the court. That’s what he’s saying, and that’s what it appears on the court itself.
“We had a nice chat and had a few laughs on the court as well. It was just great. It brought back the old times when we spent a lot of time on the court together, whether it was training or playing against each other.”
The two-time Wimbledon champion last played at the Rotterdam Open where he was beaten by Russian Andrey Rublev on March 3 before pulling out of the Miami Open later that month due to a groin injury.
Scans revealed the injury did not appear to be serious and he took a flight out to Italy to train with players who are participating at the Masters 1000 event.
“I want to play against the highest level players possible because I think that will help me improve my game quicker,” said Murray.
Speaking about whether he will receive a wild card for the French Open, which is due to begin in Paris on May 30, he said: “I don’t mind if they don’t want to give me a wild card, that’s fine, they can give them to whoever they want to.
“It just makes it a bit tricky with planning, but we should find out in the next week or so.”