Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Murray still Dream-ing


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The dream is very much alive for Andy Murray.
Despite recently undergoing back surgery, the reigning Wimbledon champ will definitely be part of the first ever Dream Cup in Barbados after organizers confirmed his participation in the three-day challenge event in November.
Dream Cup executive director Kodi Lewis gave the assurance that the world No.3 was a “go” for the event during yesterday’s Press launch at sponsors St Peter’s Bay Resort.
“We’ve been in touch with Andy’s team from the very beginning and they did notify us of his decision to have the surgery, but it was non-invasive, so we were never worried,” Lewis said.
“He’ll be fully fit in time for the event as he starts his rehab next week and then from that he does a lot of plyometrics (jump training) and all the strength training. So, by the beginning of November, he’ll be on court, and to be on court, you have to be physically fit.
“He starts his training with Ivan Lendl up there and then continues his training while he is here. So, we’ll be the first competitive event Andy will play following the back surgery.”
Speculation was rife that Murray would have to forego the Dream Cup after the Brit elected to have minor surgery on a niggling back injury that forced him to pull out of this year’s French Open.
But the procedure appeared to go well as Murray took to Twitter earlier this week to post a picture of himself giving the thumbs up from the hospital bed.
It was much welcomed news for the highly publicized challenge event which features Murray along with 2009 US Open champ Juan Martin del Potro, Frenchman Richard Gasquet and fellow top 20 men’s player Nicolas Almagro in the rebranded Tennis Pon de Rock festival.
However, unlike those exhibition events, the Dream Cup will feature strictly competitive tennis as the four players compete in a semi-final draw for the right to play for a US$500 000 stay at St Peter’s Bay.
“This year, we’re taking out all of the fluff,” said Lewis. “We’re really focusing on the core elements of the event because it’s live [on ESPN], so we’re making sure the focus is on the matches. No more drilling for dollars and that type of stuff.
“It’s strictly about on the court tennis but the players will be doing a lot more interaction and getting the spectators involved.”
Lewis revealed that the organizers have a six-year deal with ESPN, who are set to broadcast both the semi-finals and final live to various regions with star analyst Patrick McEnroe in the booth.
Those three matches will be played at the Wildey Gym on November 29 and 30, respectively, and the losers of the semi-finals will be featured in an exhibition doubles match the following day at Sugar Hill with Barbados’ top players Darian King and Haydn Lewis.


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