Andy Murray is dreaming of a Wimbledon hat-trick after SW19 successes in 2013 and 2016… and this year’s wildcard says he has a newfound appreciation for competing at the All England Club
- Andy Murray’s world ranking of 124 was too low for automatic Wimbledon entry
- However, his exploits in SW19 over the years were enough to earn him a wildcard
- Murray played at Queen’s this week and has a newfound appreciation for playing
- And the 34-year-old still believes he can add to his two All England Club titles
- The Scot also expressed his sadness about Naomi Osaka’s depression struggle
- Osaka withdrew from the French Open after refusing to do press conferences
Andy Murray is dreaming of winning an historic third Wimbledon title — even though he now plays tennis just for the love of it.
The former world No 1 has been gifted a wildcard into this year’s championships as his current ranking of 124 is too low to gain automatic entry.
The 34-year-old had mixed fortunes in his first action since March at Queen’s last week, and has now played just seven tournaments in the past two years.
Andy Murray is hoping for a third Wimbledon title after successes in 2013 and 2016 at SW19
Murray lost to top seed Matteo Berrettini earlier this week at Queen’s ahead of the Grand Slam
A bizarre groin injury was the latest issue following his 2018 career-saving hip surgery — the solution to the problem that ended his brief reign as the best player in the world.
‘The issues before I had the metal hip put in were the hardest for me,’ he said. ‘I’d been in a lot of pain for a long time. I was getting no enjoyment out of playing any more. I didn’t want to play. I was starting to resent tennis.’
The proud Scot, who was in the Wembley crowd for Friday night’s goalless Euros draw with England, added how his view has since dramatically changed in an interview with The Times Magazine.
He said: ‘Usually the trajectory of a sportsperson’s career is they get to whatever their peak is, they’re there for a few years, then they start to drop off a little bit.
‘Whereas this happened when I was at my peak. I was not anticipating that. When you think you might not play again, you start to look back and go, ”What could I have done differently?”’ Now he has pledged to play on for as long as his body will allow.
‘You appreciate things a lot more. The opportunity to play at Wimbledon this year, even just practising on the grass, means a lot to me, whereas when I was in my mid-twenties it was just part of what I did.
‘Now I’m getting towards the end of playing I’m like, ‘Oh God, I wish I’d appreciated all of this more’.
And his chances of adding to his 2013 and 2016 title successes?
‘Oh, yeah I could win. I’m not saying I will…’
Naomi Osaka is on a break from the tour after quitting Roland Garros for mental health reasons
Murray will be the centre of attention from now until he ends his Wimbledon campaign and is sorry Naomi Osaka will not be in SW19 to share the spotlight alongside him.
The Japanese world No 2 announced her withdrawal from the tournament last week. Osaka had previously quit the French Open citing depression after she had declared she was no longer able to conduct press conferences.
Murray has been the focal point of the British tennis and wider media since he was a teenager and remarked how ‘negotiations’ should not have been conducted over social media.
‘I don’t think it’s been handled well by her team and I don’t think it’s been handled well by the tournaments. It’s become a sad affair,’ he added.
‘If she’s dealing with depression that’s horrendous, but her team should have contacted the grand slams and WTA and said, ”Look, she’s dealing with this, and one of the things she finds difficult is being in front of the press. Is there something we can do to help?”
‘I feel bad for the tournament, I feel bad for her, and I’d be disappointed in my team if that was how that was handled.’
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