Vasek Pospisil of Canada celebrates a point during his straight sets victory against Andy Murray of Great Britain in their second round match during day six of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 11, 2017 in Indian Wells, California. Clive Brunskill/Getty Images/AFP CLIVE BRUNSKILL / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP
Vasek Pospisil, playing tennis with renewed purpose after a tumultuous 2016, knew something big was coming, but a stunning triumph over world number one Andy Murray exceeded his expectations.
“Amazing feeling,” Pospisil said after vanquishing Britain’s Murray 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) in the second round of the ATP Indian Wells Masters.
“I feel like I’m on a comeback trail,” he added.
“I felt like a big result was coming, because I believe in my abilities, but just kind of had to put the pieces together again. Obviously to beat the number one player in the world is incredible.”
The 26-year-old from Vernon, British Columbia, was ranked as high as 25th in the world in 2014 and in 2015 captured the Wimbledon doubles crown with American Jack Sock.
But he was playing on the lower-rung Challenger circuit as recently as February, honing his game under the guidance of new coach Mark Woodforde and trying to build up a ranking that had slipped outside the top 130 in the world.
He said Australia’s Woodforde, a 12-time Grand Slam doubles champion, had proved the perfect addition as he sought to rekindle the fire he lacked last year.
“He has a lot of wisdom,” Pospisil said. “He’s been around for many years. He was a great singles player himself.
“Doubles, obviously, that goes without saying, one of the doubles greats. But he was a very accomplished singles player, and I felt like he could help me kind of discover more about my game and how I want to play.”
Still glowing from his victory over Murray, Pospisil wasn’t interested in discussing the details of the personal troubles that played havoc with his career last year.
“I feel like I came out a little bit more wise about life, about myself,” he said. “I think that’s why I’m also now enjoying my time on the court so much more these days.
“The last few months I have been kind of stopping myself during matches and realizing how happy I am to even be competing and playing tennis.”