Nadal On Murray: 'Everybody Should Be Happy To See Him Back'
Former World No. 1 Andy Murray is set to return to Grand Slam action at Wimbledon. And it’s more than just his fans who are happy to see the two-time singles winner at The Championships back on the hallowed grass, albeit on the doubles court.
“Everybody should be happy to see him back,” said two-time champion Rafael Nadal, the third seed. “He is one of the most important players of our sport in the past 10 years. It’s good news when we have the top players back. Most important thing, [I am] happy for him personally that he's able to keep playing.”
Murray made his return at the Fever-Tree Championships at The Queen’s Club, where he triumphed alongside Feliciano Lopez. Murray then partnered Marcelo Melo at the Nature Valley International in Eastbourne, where they fell to eventual champions Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah.
And although Murray has made clear that he is alright if it doesn’t happen, the 32-year-old said that if he continues to progress, he wants to try to play singles again. It’s only been five months since Murray underwent hip surgery.
“Hopefully he will have the chance to keep playing in singles. But anyway, he's able to enjoy tennis again without much pain, as I heard. That's the main thing and the most important thing,” Nadal said. “I know how tough it is being injured, when you want to recover and you don't find the solution... [I am] happy to see him on court again and enjoying [it].”
Nadal, who holds a 17-7 FedEx ATP Head2Head series lead against Murray, faced the Scot three times at Wimbledon (2008, ‘10, ‘11), winning on all three occasions. Although they won’t get to play this year, since Murray is only competing in doubles, Nadal couldn’t help but take a look at the two-time champion preparing for the grass-court Grand Slam next to him on the practice courts.
“He looks very happy practising,” Nadal said. “So happy for that.”
Murray and his partner, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, open their tournament against Marius Copil and Ugo Humbert. They could play No. 6 seeds Nikola Mektic and Franko Skugor in the second round, and Andy’s brother Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski in the third round. But Murray is not thinking ahead, and he has not put more pressure on himself because of the early success in his comeback.
“I'm just happy to be playing tennis again really. I would like to do well when I get on the court. I play to win. I'm really competitive,” Murray said. “But… I didn't know four or five weeks ago if I'd even be playing on the grass. Shouldn't be expecting too much. But once I step on the court, I'll be out there trying to win every match I play.”