The last three years have been challenging and almost career-defining for three-time grand slam champion, Andy Murray, but he’s far from letting injuries and surgeries stop his career as he makes gradual steps back towards the top.
On Tuesday, the 34-year old former world number one edged out American Denis Kudla, five years his junior, and secured a place in the San Diego Open second round, where he faces fast-rising Norwegian youngster Casper Ruud.
In the championship through a wild card entry, Murray proved himself by easily beating Kudla, who is currently better placed in the world rankings, through two straight sets of 6-3,6-2. The 29-year old American’s first serve points [63%] and breakpoints  paled against Murray’s 90% and 4 respectively, having the former bow out in the first round.
But it only gets tougher for Andy, who will have to put in extra effort, perhaps more than in recent years, to face his next opponent, World No.10 Ruud. Though the US Open 2012 grand slam winner Murray boasts 47 ATP singles titles, beating Ruud won’t be a walk in the park as the latter has won four titles this season alone; Geneva, Bastad, Gstaad, and Kitzbuhel.
Ruud, the first Norwegian to ever win an ATP title, is on a promising rise, having risen in 15 sports this year alone to tenth. As one of the most promising young players in tennis, he will be difficult to beat as he seeks his sixth ATP title.
Andy says his game is getting better and he thinks he can get the better of the current best players. “It’s been better,” he admitted. “I think I can beat them.”
We are thus in for a thrilling second round in San Diego tomorrow as the young and energetic clash with the experienced, determined to shine again.