Jamie Murray last night admitted his heart went out to his brother as Andy suffered a painful Wimbledon exit and stressed he was full of admiration for how the champion battled right to the end of his five-sets defeat.
And in hoping that the world No 1 can get a diagnosis and treatment for his injury and “come back stronger”, Jamie wondered if Andy might look to follow the example of Roger Federer, who won the Australian Open after taking a break and could now win Wimbledon using the same formula.
In losing his quarter-final to America’s Sam Querrey, Andy was rendered virtually immobile by a hip problem which disrupted his preparations for the tournament and was just the latest snag in a blighted season.
Jamie said: “I messaged him last night to say ‘Bad luck and how are you?’ It’s your brother and you don’t like seeing him in pain obviously. He was disappointed to lose but he had been battling the last couple of weeks with his hip.
“I think everyone knows he’s been fighting through the tournament and the injury probably got worse as it went on. But, like he always does, he fought as hard as he could to stay in the competition as long as he could. Even though it was sad to see him like that for the last 45 minutes of the match he absolutely did his best. It’s difficult but it is sport. Players get injured and unfortunately for him this one came at the time of a huge event.”
Jamie, who is competing in the mixed doubles at Wimbledon, suggested Andy might want to consider following the strategy of Federer in the way he’s “managed his workload”.
“The most important thing is to get the hip sorted and do what needs to be done to get him on the court feeling 100 per cent,” Jamie added. “I don’t know exactly how he is feeling and how his body is. I just hope he can get the necessary treatment and diagnosis and rest and come back stronger than before. But it’s true that at some point he’s going to have to manage his workload.
“Federer has obviously done a great job of that. He didn’t play for like six months last year and came back in the Australian playing amazing and then skipped the clay court season. He’s coming in fresh and looking forward to playing. He’s got a great chance to win [Wimbledon] again and I’m sure that guys, not just Andy, will probably look at what he’s done and learn from it.”