Andy Murray recalls fateful 2017 French Open semi-final against Stan Wawrinka – where he first felt the severe hip pain which almost ended his career – as he prepares to face off with Swiss veteran in the first round

  • Andy Murray will play Stan Wawrinka in the French Open first round on Sunday
  • Murray, 37, remembers the ‘pain’ he felt during 2017 semi-final against the Swiss
  • The Scottish player went on to have hip surgery in 2019 which saved his career

Andy Murray’s first-round match against Stan Wawrinka on Sunday will bring unpleasant memories back to the surface. 

It was during the 2017 semi-final against the Swiss that Murray’s hip began to scream at him in a way that could no longer be ignored.

The Scot was world No1 at the time and led Wawrinka by two sets to one until his body gave way.

‘I remember before the quarter-final match I played against Kei Nishikori that something wasn’t right,’ the world No75 recalled yesterday. 

‘I had had issues with my hip for a really long time. The longer matches were going on I was having issues moving and driving up to serve. 

Andy Murray’s hip caused him serious probelms during the French Open semi-final in 2017 before he had surgery on it two years later

He ended up losing the three sets to two to Stan Wawrinka who he now faces in the first round

He ended up losing the three sets to two to Stan Wawrinka who he now faces in the first round 

‘I remember during that match, the fifth set, feeling I was unable to move. I couldn’t sleep that night my hip was in so much pain. I remember getting up in the night, I was lying on the sofa in loads of pain.

‘I never recovered. I couldn’t extend my leg behind my properly after that match.’

Hearing that, it was strange to recall that Murray actually limped through to the quarter-finals of Wimbledon that year, before taking a year out and eventually having surgery in 2019.

Given all this it is remarkable to see Murray still competing on this stage, and he gave a positive update on his latest injury – an ankle problem.

The 37-year-old and Wawrinka, 39, have often been bracketed together as winners of three Grand Slam titles each, but the Swiss demurred yesterday when that comparison was made.

‘He has many more titles in general,’ said Wawrinka of Murray. ‘He’s been fighting with the big three for 15 years, always top five, top three, playing every semi-final or final.

‘He’s a bit unlucky to have only three slams and that’s maybe why people connect me to him. But he’s a lot far away from myself, from my career. He’s ahead of it.’