‘He’s only scratching the surface’: Andy Murray backed to contend in grand slams again

·2 min read
The Scot last reached the fourth round of a slam in 2017 (PA)
The Scot last reached the fourth round of a slam in 2017 (PA)

Andy Murray has not reached the second week of a grand slam in five years but has been backed to end that run by former British number one Tim Henman.

The Scot, a two-time Wimbledon champion, last reached the fourth round of a slam in 2017 when he was knocked in the quarter-finals at the All England Club.

Since then, he gone under the knife twice to resolve a hip issue with a metal plate in his joint now allowing him to move after his career was under threat.

His singles career appeared to be over, but Murray is now back playing a full schedule, even if he was beaten in the first round of both the Citi Open and Cincinnati Masters. 

However for Henman, a four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist, the fact that Murray is playing week in, week out, means that it is only a matter of time before we see him contesting the latter stages of slams.

“I think [Murray’s] had such a sort of challenging last four or five years and now he’s starting to build some consistency with his fitness so now he can play on a more consistent schedule,” said Henman, who was talking at ‘Play Your Way to Wimbledon’ Powered by Vodafone last week.

“For me he’s still only scratching the surface. He’s in the top 50 and if he plays the full schedule then I definitely think he can be back seeded in the grand slams.

“You’ll get to see him with more protection and then he can have a really good run in in the slams still. And that’s definitely the motivating factor.”

Murray’s performances have earned him a recall to the Davis Cup team under Leon Smith, the Scot making his first appearance for Great Britain in two years. 

He will be joined by Dan Evans and Cam Norrie, with rising star Jack Draper missing out despite reaching his first Masters quarter-final last week.

And for Henman, there is no question that the strength in depth in British tennis is reason to celebrate.

He added: “Dan has played well this year and I think there’s a very positive vibe around British tennis at the moment both on the men’s and the women’s side.

“If you look at the results in Canada this week, with Jack Draper qualifying and making quarters of a Masters 1000, Evans in the semis, Cam Norrie has played fantastically well this year making the semis of Wimbledon.

“Obviously on the back of (Emma) Raducanu winning the US Open last year and some of the results on the women’s side there’s a lot to be positive about.

“And I think they are very important role models to inspire the next generation.”

Play Your Way to Wimbledon, Powered by Vodafone, is a junior tournament that gives players an opportunity to follow in their heroes’ footsteps and compete on the grass courts at Wimbledon - for more information visit wimbledon.com