Former British No.1 Greg Rusedski believes two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray will have questions to answer when he returns to action, as he suggests the Scot may struggle to challenge in major tournaments due to his hip problems.
Murray has not played a competitive match since last November’s Davis Cup finals in Madrid, with a recurrence of the injury that has restricted him to just three matches in Grand Slam events since his defeat in the 2018 Wimbledon quarter-final still a concern for the 33-year-old.
In an exclusive interview with Tennis365, Amazon Prime analyst Rusedski told us that Murray faces an uphill task to prove he can still compete in a best-of-five-set tournament against the best players in the world.
“It will be interesting to see where Andy’s body will be at when he comes back,” began Rusedski. “He had more problems with his hip at the David Cup in November and when you have the bone growth issue that he had, trying to play best of five-set matches may be a challenge if he was to try and play at the US Open or the French Open.
“It is still a work in progress for Andy at this stage and there are still a lot of question marks around what he can achieve after all his injury problems.
“We probably would have had some answer to those questions if he had been able to have a more gradual return to the game, working his way through tournaments and finding our where he is at physically.
“When you have had a long spell out of the game, you cannot bluster your way into a three out of five-set match too easily. It is tough on the body and you can never replicate a match scenario when you are on the practice courts.
“His win in Antwerp last year was a phenomenal performance. Once again, Andy showed how incredibly mentally he was to beat Stan Wawrinka in the final. It was a tremendous, tremendous win and that’s why we can never write Andy out of the equation.”
Murray is set to return to action alongside his brother Jamie and fellow Brits Dan Evans and Kyle Edmund in the Schroders Battle of the Brits event, to be staged at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre in south London from June 23rd.
Amazon Prime will screen the event live and Rusedski believes the streaming service has become the cost-effective home for tennis in the UK since taking over the broadcast rights from Sky at the start of 2019.
“Streaming is the future of live sport,” he added. “This will be the way we consume our TV in the future and Amazon are leading the way with that now.
“You cannot beat a TV package of £79-a-year that includes free deliveries, ATP at WTA tennis, as well as the US Open. You also have some Premier League football matches thrown into the mix, so you can beat that. It’s incredible value for money and I can’t wait to get back to work and talking about tennis again.
“It will be very strange when the first week of Wimbledon rolls around and it is not on, but that is the situation we are in at the moment. Tennis will come back soon and Amazon will be there to broadcast it all. The appetite to watch the sport will be amazing when we can resume, and I can’t wait.”
Amazon Prime Video will live stream ‘Schroders Battle of the Brits’, a six-day long event, televised from the Lawn Tennis Association’s headquarters in Roehampton from June 23rd.