The former No. 1 talked about fear, pain and childhood challenges in his comeback film. (Getty)

Andy Murray's comeback documentary, Resurfacing, debuted on Amazon on Friday. 

The film takes the audience along on Murray's journey back toward the winner's circle: from his labral repair, in January 2018, to his hip-resurfacing surgery, a year later, to his singles return, at the 2019 Cincinnati Masters. 

It covers a lot of the emotional highlights and lowlights that fans will already be familiar with, and it's worth a watch just for that. But where hard-core tennis watchers can really gain insight from the movie is through the self-recorded videos and voice memos that Murray made throughout the recovery process. 

Here are five things we learned from Resurfacing:  


It took a team effort. 

It's easy to view tennis players' injury woes as stories about individuals, but Murray's entourage played a major role both in his recovery and in the film.

Prominent characters included physiotherapists Shane Annun and Mark Bender ("also known as Slender, which is ironic because he's not particularly slender," Murray says), physical trainer Matt Little, and coach Jamie Delgado ("we know him as 'Delgy,' which is self-explanatory"). Resurfacing is largely about how all these people—and more—helped Murray get to where he is now. 


The thought of post-tennis life frightened him.

The comeback trail had real stakes for Murray, not just in terms of his tennis legacy, but also for his daily life and sense of self. 

"One of the things that I'm worried and a little bit scared about is, if I do stop playing, or I have to stop playing, that I don't know what I'm gonna do," he said in a "voice note" after withdrawing from Wimbledon in 2018. "That's something that I worry about, not having that structure."


The retirement worries started early. 

The reality of an immanent Murray retirement first became apparent for most people at the 2019 Australian Open. But for him, the 2018 Citi Open easily could have concluded his career. 

"I feel like this is the end for me. My body just doesn't wanna do it anymore, and my mind doesn't wanna push through the pain barrier anymore," he said in a self-shot video, holding back tears. "It was a really emotional night for me because I felt like I'm coming to the end. I'm really sad about that because I really wanna keep going, but my body is telling me no, so it hurts."


Murray's mentality on court was shaped by a challenging childhood. 


Mini me.????

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He says it traces back to a series of difficult events he faced early on, beginning with the Dunblane massacre, in which 16 students were killed at his school. 

"We knew the guy; we went to his kids club. He'd been in our car, and we'd driven and dropped him off at train stations and things. And within 12 months of that happening, our parents got divorced," he said in a voice memo. "Six to 12 months after that, my brother also moved away from home ... We used to do everything together, so when he moved away as well, that was also quite hard for me."  

"My feeling toward tennis is that it's an escape for me in some ways," he added. "The way that I am on the tennis court, I show some positive things about my personality, and I also show the bad things and the stuff that I really hate." 


Returning to tennis in 2019 was a significant risk. 

Much like the rest of the world, Murray wasn't sure what the extent of his comeback would be until he was actually playing. Yes, he was inspired by Bob Bryan, but even after his hip-resurfacing surgery, the decision to play again required much deliberation with his physician, family and team. 

"What if I said that, if you go back to playing first-class tennis, I think you've got a 15 percent chance that, in the first seven years, you could destroy the hip?" said his surgeon, Sarah Muirhead-Allwood. "Because that's what it's like—it's not you will or you won't, it's chances." 

Thus far, the gamble has paid off. Murray took home titles in doubles, at the Queen's Club, and in singles, at the Antwerp European Open. Most recently, he won one match at the Davis Cup before sitting out with a minor groin injury

The actual hip-resurfacing surgery takes up a relatively small portion of Resurfacing, but given how things have gone on the court in recent months, the title was kind of irresistible.