Andy Murray cannot wait to match up against Novak Djokovic for the first time in five years, with the pair due to face each other at the Madrid Open tomorrow.
Murray set up the mouth-watering clash by overcoming world No. 14 Denis Shapovalov 6-1 3-6 6-2 in two hours and nine minutes, and now turns his attention to a last-16 match against the Serb.
He said in quotes published by the ATP Tour website: “He's the world No. 1 and I've got a metal hip!
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“I didn't know I'd get opportunities to play matches like this again. In theory, I shouldn't have a chance in the match.
“But I've worked my hardest, put myself in a great position and it's a fantastic opportunity to play against him again on a big court in a huge tournament.”
The 34-year-old played his first match on clay in two years at this tournament, beating Dominic Thiem in a straight-sets first-round win, before dominating the final set against Shapovalov.
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"I trained very hard the past four or five weeks and got my game in good shape," Murray said of his performance against the Canadian.
"My movement has been so much better than where it was at the beginning of the year and it makes a huge difference to my whole game.
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"It allows me to make different decisions on the court. My movement won me that match tonight. I defended so many points.
“[Shapovalov] has so much power and I managed to defend lots of points and that won the match for me, so I was really happy with that.”
Murray had originally elected to miss out on the entire clay-court season, but reversed his decision after being handed a wild card for Madrid.
His last match against Djokovic came at the Qatar Open in January 2017 when he was world No.1. Djokovic emerged victorious in that match after three sets.
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The Serb overcame Gael Monfils 6-3 6-2 in his second-round match after receiving a bye in the first round.
“[Murray is] moving well, playing better and better. It's really fantastic to see because he's an important player for our game," he added.
“He's made his mark in the history of our sport by winning multiple Slams and gold medals and [reaching] No. 1 of the world. He's one of the most important names that we have.
“To have him still competing is great, and to have him even play at a high level as the time goes by is impressive, considering the surgery and what he has been through in the past few years. His resilience and fighting spirit is really inspiring.”
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