Andy Murray is an inspiration to younger players who need to learn about resilience says British youngster Jack Draper.
Murray came through his first round match against Nikoloz Basilashvili on Monday on his first appearance at Wimbledon in four years.
The two-time Wimbledon champ has has a difficult couple of years following major hip surgery in 2019 and hasn’t been able to build up any momentum playing on the Tour.
When a positive COVID test ruled him out of the Australian Open earlier this year, Murray chose to travel to Italy to play a Challenger event followed by an ATP250 in Montpellier just to get court time.
And when a freak groin injury stopped him playing the Miami Open on the eve of the tournament, he went back to fitness training, skipping clay season to focus on grass.
The 34-year-old got a resounding welcome to Centre Court on Monday from an expectant home crowd who were willing him on to success.
Despite a wobble in the third set where he lost seven games in a row, Murray fought back to claim victory in four sets 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.
Jack Draper, the young British wildcard who had the honour of playing the first Centre Court match at Wimbledon this year against defending champion Novak Djokovic, says Murray is a big inspiration to players like himself.
“Andy is an incredible role model,” said Draper.
“I’m with him a lot at the National Tennis Centre and he puts in so much work behind the scenes.
“He’s had a tough few years, but his body looks good now and he’s ready to play. He gets asked so much about when he’s going to stop but he just loves the game so much.
“He’s one-of-a-kind, he’s a great guy. I hope he can have a good two weeks and be on court more often because that’s where everyone wants to see him.
“He’s a great inspiration for someone like myself and all the kids out there who want to learn resilience.”
Draper took the first set against Djokovic before being overpowered by the world number one who won 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.
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