Friday 18 October 2019

'I'd like to see more unity' - Andy Murray wants an end to civil war in tennis as Serena Williams double act ends

Andy Murray and Serena Williams during their mixed doubles match at Wimbledon 2019 (Mike Egerton/PA)
Andy Murray and Serena Williams during their mixed doubles match at Wimbledon 2019 (Mike Egerton/PA)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Andy Murray has called on the top players in tennis and the game's decisions makers to unite in a bid to end the internal feuding that he believes is halting progress in the sport.

After seeing his hopes of winning the Wimbledon Mixed doubles title alongside Serena Williams come to an end after a 6-3 4-6 6-2 defeat against top seeds Bruno Soares and Nicole Melichar in the third round, he was asked about the turbulent political battles raging in the sport.

ATP Tour chief Chris Kermode was controversially ousted from his role earlier this year and world No.1 Novak Djokovic has been at the heart of debates over the game's future in his role as one of the leaders of the players' council, yet Murray suggests the time has come to end the conflict and find united at the heart of the men's game.

"I think the whole situation is a shame really," he stated. "I think it just seems like there's so much, like, infighting in the sport. I don't feel like that should be the case just now.

"Tennis is doing really well. There should be lots of positive things happening, positive discussions about how to drive the sport forwards and improve.

"It just seems like so many different people, organizations, are fighting, not sort of coming together to try to find solutions. You want that to change really. I'd like to see a little bit more unity. Once that's the case, then you can start to move forward.

"It just seems like there's a lot of division just now, so things aren't progressing because everyone is disagreeing with each other all the time, fighting. That's never good."

Murray was content with his return to the court, as he declared his body was feeling in good shape as he recovers from hip surgery and targets a return to the singles court later this year.

"I think I achieved a lot. I got on the court and I think, considering the lack of matches, I did OK," added Murray.

"The most positive thing is that my body felt good. My hip anyway was feeling good, so that was positive.

"It's a lot of physical work now trying to get stronger, really, get a good balance with all the muscles around my hip. I'm doing some physical testing next week.

"I did some pre-Queen's. It will be interesting to see what's happened these last four weeks where I've been obviously playing tennis but doing not much training, to see how things have progressed or not.

"Then I'll do four to six weeks of training, then I'll have some testing done after that again. Hopefully I will have progressed again. But I've still got quite a long way to go."

Meanwhile, Wimbledon chairman Philip Brook has revealed the All England Club are will erect a stature of Murray for when he retires.

Chief executive Richard Lewis said in January after Murray raised the possibility of his imminent retirement that Wimbledon would honour the Scot in the same way as Fred Perry, whose bust is outside Centre Court.

Speaking to a group of reporters in the All England Club boardroom, Brook said: "What we don't want to do is retire him too early. Our thought all along is that we want to recognise Andy's significant achievements here at Wimbledon in an appropriate way and at an appropriate time.

"We think an appropriate time is to unveil something when he retires. We are working on it. We have done some work already on it and there is still more work to do."

Online Editors

The Left Wing: Welcome to Irish rugby's biggest week - is an upset on the cards?

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport