Andy Murray believes he is closer to beating Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic than he was “seven or eight” weeks ago, leaving him feeling “excited” about his future.
“I almost didn’t go to Antwerp, I had a problem with my elbow which I had in Shanghai and I left Sunday afternoon on the train there and I didn’t know if I was going to play.
“Obviously, I’m thankful I did and ended up getting the title. It was completely unexpected.”
Murray on his return to Australia
After spending a few weeks at home in London following the arrival of his third child, Murray goes to Madrid on Wednesday to link up with the Great Britain squad for the inaugural Davis Cup week-long finals.
Then he will continue to build his fitness during the off-season before returning to the ATP Tour at the start of the 2020 season in Australia.
Murray has used a protected injury ranking to ensure his nation can play in the new ATP Cup, where he had been set to face Swiss great Federer in the group stage.
However, the 20-time Grand Slam champion pulled out of the tournament and Murray says it is “unfortunate” their meeting will not happen.
Murray hopes it will not be too long before he gets the chance to test himself against Federer, plus the other ‘big three’ players Djokovic and Nadal who are among the world’s top eight playing at the ATP Finals in London this week.
That could happen when he hopes to return to Melbourne, 12 months after Australian Open organisers played a farewell video following his first-round defeat by Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut.
“I genuinely did feel there was more chance of that being the last time I played in Australia than the position I’m in now,” said Murray, who was speaking to the BBC at the launch of his new clothing range with sportswear brand Castore.
“I’m very lucky I get that chance again in January if I stay fit in the next couple of months and it’ll be fun to see what I can do.”
Murray on the arrival of his third child
Murray’s wife Kim gave birth to their third child at the end of October, a boy to join their two daughters, Sophia, who was born in 2016, and Edie, born in 2017.
“It’s been good so far, a bit hectic at times but for the most part it has been good. It has been nice to be at home for the last few weeks,” Murray said.
“Before our first daughter was born I wanted a boy and was convinced it was going to be a boy first time round and then we had two girls.
“I would have been more than happy with another girl as well, but it is nice and the kids have been excited to have a brother.”