Andy Murray is working very hard. He is playing almost every week. His level of play is still high considering that he has a metal hip. His movement and court sense are still very good. But he has not been able to progress past the first few rounds.
That’s for good reason. Because of his ranking (now well outside the Top 100), Murray keeps running into the Top 20 players in the early rounds. He is not able to beat the top players and is not able to improve his rankings.
As a former world number 1 and a three-time grand slam champion, Murray is able to get a wild card at every tournament he plays. Without the wild card, he would have to play the qualifying rounds to get in. Given his ranking, Murray may not even be eligible to play the qualifying rounds at many tournaments, especially Masters level tournaments.
Murray knows that he can’t be relying on wild cards forever. Though he has earned the right to get wild cards, at some point, he will realize that he needs to get his rankings up enough to qualify for tournaments or questions will be asked why he is playing.
Andy Murray has been willing to fight out this tough phase of his career. He could easily hang up his racquet and have a comfortable retirement. But his persistence and love for the game keep him going. I hope that he is able to get his rankings within the Top 100 by the end of the year so that he can play without wild cards in 2022. That will be a relief for Andy Murray and his fans, who want to see him play for a few more years.