‘He has a big heart’ – Novak Djokovic gives verdict on Andy Murray’s stunning US Open comeback
Novak Djokovic branded Andy Murray a ‘real fighter’ and praised the Scot’s ‘big heart’ as he fought back from two sets and a break down at the US Open.
Djokovic watched some of Murray’s titanic tussle with Yoshihito Nishioka on the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday, with Murray eventually prevailing 4-6 4-6 7-6 7-6 6-4 in four hours and 40 minutes after saving a match point.
Murray will return to Ashe under the lights on Thursday night to face Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime, hoping to join great rival Djokovic in the third round after the world No. 1 took out his compatriot Kyle Edmund.
Djokovic is well aware of the fighting spirit of Murray – who he has faced 36 times in his career – brings to the table, but he expressed his admiration for the three-time Grand Slam champion for his latest comeback, this time with a metal hip.
‘I saw little bit of his match. I was not surprised with his fighting spirit and way he came back to win it because he has done it more than few times in his career,’ said Djokovic after his 6-7 6-3 6-4 6-2 win over Edmund.
‘He’s truly a champion. He has a big heart. He’s a real fighter, a great example of someone who leaves it all on the court.
‘Being very determined, especially after everything he has been through in the last five years with his hip surgeries, a year and a half ago in Australia probably saying goodbye to tennis, then coming back, winning last week against [Alexander] Zverev, who is a top-10 player, winning a tournament in Belgium last year. I mean, it’s really impressive.
‘I truly, truly hope that he can stay healthy and that he can go on for a long time like this.’
Djokovic was forced to dig deep after an electric first set from British No. 2 Edmund and he was grateful for an early test to sharpen his mind.
‘There were some ups and downs throughout the match, but it was over three hours, a tough opponent, a tough test,’ added the top seed from Serbia. ‘I mean, this is something that can happen obviously, you drop a set.
‘I’m actually glad I did drop a set and got tested the way I did today against Kyle. I expected it to be a tough, tough task.
‘I’m really glad having an early kind of tough match in the tournament, because it kind of serves me better I think for the rest of the tournament.’
MORE : Andy Murray produces epic five-set comeback at the US Open
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