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Murray is embracing quest to overcome his struggles


By Eleanor Crooks

Andy Murray is ready to enjoy the struggle of trying to get back to his best and has no doubt it will happen.

The World No.1 goes into the French Open with just five wins under his belt since February.

Murray cut a frustrated figure in practice yesterday, shaking his head and throwing his racket, and made no attempt to disguise his difficulties.

He said: "The last few months have not been good. I haven't played well. I had a few issues as well. I need to accept that I'm struggling and then find a way to get through it.

"I will get through it, I'm sure of that. When that happens, I don't know. Hopefully it happens in a few days. If it doesn't, maybe during the grass season.

"But the only way to get through it is to work your way through it, keep working on your game, try and understand what's not been going right.

"Although it's very frustrating, you have to try to enjoy this part of what we do because the struggles are part of what make the good times so enjoyable.

"I need to enjoy my struggle a little bit just now and that will help me get through it quicker."

Illness and injury have disrupted Murray's season and contributed to a lack of rhythm, and the Scot has again been under the weather this week.

The 30-year-old was unable to practice on Monday and has a lingering cough but insisted he will be ready for his first-round match against Russian Andrey Kuznetsov.

Murray was diagnosed with shingles on his return home from the Australian Open and was laid low by a virus in March before pulling out of the Miami Open with an elbow injury.

He said: "It's been frustrating because it's the third time this year where I've missed days or been in bed for a few days.

"To be honest, it should happen more really, considering the amount that we travel and how long the season is. I have been pretty lucky with that over the last couple of years.

"So maybe they have just come in a small space of time. But I feel okay now. I will be all good when the tournament starts."

Petra Kvitova, meanwhile, said she has already won her biggest fight ahead of what is sure to be an emotional return.

The two-time Wimbledon champion will make her comeback at the French Open six months after suffering serious injuries to her dominant left hand in a knife attack by an intruder at her home.

Having initially feared she may never be able to play again, Kvitova has made a quicker than expected recovery, prompting a last-minute decision to compete at Roland Garros.

The 27-year-old's hand is still not 100 per cent, but simply being able to walk out on court for her first-round match against Julia Boserup represents a hugely significant victory.

Kvitova, her voice wavering, said: "Not many people believed that I could play tennis again. So I'm happy that I can play.

"I already won my biggest fight. I'm happy that I like challenges. I stayed in life and I have all my fingers, I can play tennis and I can be here.

"And I'm really looking forward to my match. When I watch some (tennis) on the TV, I didn't really feel great. I felt like tennis was taken away from me, and it wasn't my decision. Suddenly I couldn't do what I love. I see life a little bit from a different angle now."

Belfast Telegraph


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