Boris Becker expects Andy Murray to return to the tennis circuit with a renewed hunger after his enforced break from the sport.
The Scot had minor surgery on his troublesome back a month ago and last week confirmed his season was over when he withdrew from the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
News from the Murray camp has nevertheless been encouraging and in around a month’s time the Scot will travel to Miami to begin his winter training camp as he builds up to the new season. The nature of the tennis calendar means breaks are usually no more than a few days, even at the end of a season.
Murray had a short holiday after winning Wimbledon but it became clear during his US Open title defence, which ended with a quarter-final loss to Stanislas Wawrinka, that he was physically and mentally jaded. As well as his recuperation, this period has allowed Murray time out to recharge his batteries, and the effect of that will be seen at the Australian Open in January.
Rafael Nadal has shown with his phenomenal season that great things can happen after a lengthy break, and Becker believes that can inspire Murray. The former world No 1 said: “We don’t know the extent of the injury and back surgery is never a good thing. The Australian Open will be his target and I trust what he says. He’s got another two and a half months to get ready and I think he’ll do it.
“If you are forced to take time out you can really appreciate what you have done and enjoy it a little bit. It does make you more hungry, you realise how much you love the sport. And the incredible way that Nadal has come back this year, that can be a good example for Andy.”
While Murray concentrates on getting back to full fitness, the off-season tasks for British women’s No 1 Laura Robson will include finding a new coach. The 19-year-old split from Miles Maclagan this week after only four months having previously been with Croatian Zeljko Krajan for less than a year. Becker said: “Ideally you want to be together with a coach for a couple of years at least. She’s a very talented young player. She has got work to do, she needs to work physically a little bit more, but I expect her to come good.”