Andy Murray returns to court willing to risk back injury for one final Wimbledon

Estimated read time 4 min read

Andy Murray says he is willing to take a risk with his body in order to play one more Wimbledon. A week after undergoing back surgery to remove a cyst, he practised on Saturday for about an hour and remains hopeful, if not totally positive, that he will be able to play some part in this year’s Championships.

That he was practising at all offers hope, but the next 48 hours will be crucial. If the 37-year-old is unable to play singles, he may still feel able to play doubles with his brother Jamie Murray for the first time in their careers, the pair having been given a wildcard by organisers. Whatever he decides, he is pushing his body to the limit, as he has done throughout his career.

“I need to be able to move properly, which I can’t yet, so let’s see in 48 hours or so,” said Murray, who had been told he could be out for at least six weeks after the operation, perhaps longer. “I don’t know, tough to know how it’s going to progress, really.

“Always when you get surgeries done, generally you get multiple opinions. I wasn’t told that it was going to be 10 days either, but … There are risks associated with what I’m trying to do and I’m willing to take that to try and play.”

This is meant to be Murray’s last Wimbledon, five years after he returned to the Tour, defying medical opinion after having a metal hip inserted in 2019, an operation that saved his career. Since then, he has made an incredible effort to remain competitive but has struggled to climb the rankings in the way he would have hoped. Finishing his career at the Olympics in Paris is the plan, but that all depends on whether his body can hold up long enough.

Murray has been an example to all British players for almost two decades and there is a renewed sense of positivity around British tennis, with 19 home players in the singles draws, seven by right and 12 by virtue of wildcards, awarded in recognition of their efforts on Tour in the past 12 months.

skip past newsletter promotion

While Emma Raducanu’s recent form offers encouragement, that two of them – Jack Draper and Katie Boulter – are seeded for the first time is a real step forward. Draper, who beat Carlos Alcaraz at Queen’s last week, is No 28 in the men’s event while Boulter is No 32 in the women’s singles.

Draper is enjoying being the new leader, in rankings terms at least, having learned from players such as Murray in the past. Now he is feeding off the healthy rivalry with the chasing pack and sharing tips with the likes of Henry Searle, who won the boys’ title last year and received a wildcard for the main draw this year.

“I’ve been lucky to have Andy, Dan [Evans], Cam [Norrie] showing me the way since I was younger. Their professionalism, their discipline, the way they treated me when I was a young player coming up, the respect they gave me is sort of saying, all right, you’re on this journey now, this is how you do it.

“There’s a really good work ethic and camaraderie between the male players. Also on the female side, too, there’s lots of really good talent coming through. We all just want to play well and win matches and do the best we can.”

For Boulter, being seeded at a grand slam is a breakthrough. “It’s a moment for me to show the dedication I’ve put in these last few years,” she said. “That’s a little pat on the back for me and it’s a start but I also know that I’ve got a long way to go, I’m still starting first round. And I’ve got to beat the person in front of me, which is never easy.”


You May Also Like

More From Author