Wimbledon champion Roger Federer says Andy Murray should wait until he’s good and ready to make his comeback – that way “anything is possible” for the stricken Scot in his attempt to win more majors.
Murray withdrew from the championships on Sunday believing they’d come “too soon” for him following hip surgery and Federer supported his rival and friend in that decision.
“I’m not going to tell Andy what to play and what not to play,” Federer stressed.
“But I think most important is if he does return he’s fully fit, because then anything is possible, especially for a former top guy.
“You have it. You don’t forget how to play tennis. It’s like riding a bike or brushing your teeth. It’s not like you’re all of a sudden going to rock up and forget about it all,”added Federer
The Swiss was speaking after beginning his defence of the title he won last year – a record-breaking eighth – with a straight-sets victory over Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic.
“I think the body just needs to be there,” the Swiss said of Murray’s ongoing rehabilitation. “Seems right now it’s not the case. You wonder why did he then play Queen’s and Eastbourne? Only he and his team know.
“Look, that’s the only advice I would give. I’ve realised that if you do come back too soon, it’s always a problem.
“I’m hopeful he’s going to feel better and better as time goes by. If that means he comes back in a month, that’s great. If he comes back in a year, well, so be it.
“I’m hopeful to see a fully fit Andy Murray again. That’s what I care about as a rival, friend, guy who has been there before. That’s what I hope.”