In another encouraging sign for Andy Murray as he continues to navigate the pro tour after two hip surgeries, the Scot is generating impressive power and speed in season 2022.
According to insights powered by Infosys, the Brit has attained faster average serving speeds and quicker top-end movement compared with when he contested Australian Open 2017 as the world No.1.
That was five years ago, immediately following his career-best 2016 season and before hip problems – which required two surgeries, the second a more complex hip resurfacing procedure – visibly emerged in his Wimbledon quarterfinal loss to Sam Querrey in July 2017.
Murray last week advanced to the final of the Sydney Tennis Classic, his first appearance in an ATP-level final in more than two years.
During that week he attained an average first serve speed of 191.4km/h – almost 10km/h faster than the speeds he averaged at AO 2017.
His second serve averaged just over 150km/h, up from 143.8km/h at AO 2017.
Murray's "90th percentile movement speed" – also known as his top-end speed – registered 13.6km/h in Sydney, considerably higher than the 11.9km/h he posted at Australian Open 2017.
His average forehand speed in Sydney was also slightly elevated compared with five years ago (up to 116.5km/h, from 115.1km), while his backhand speed was down, on average, 1.1km/h in that same span.
These are notable findings given that, in early 2017, Murray was still thriving, winning 12 of his first 14 matches to open the season.
Although hip problems would end his season at Wimbledon, in the first six months of 2017 he reached the Doha final, won the Dubai Championships and advanced to the semifinals at Roland Garros, all while retaining the No.1 ranking.
Now approaching his 35th birthday, and with all the physical problems he has endured, these are figures that should imbue him with confidence as he prepares for his AO 2022 first-round match against 21st seed Nikoloz Basilashvili on Tuesday.
Basilashvili was one of Murray's victims on route to the Sydney final last week.