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'Andy Murray Will Make It Back As A Singles Competitor' Says Tim Henman

'Andy Murray Will Make It Back As A Singles Competitor' Says Tim Henman

Tim Henman used to provide the British public with equal measures of delight and anguish on summer evenings. Now 'Tiger Tim' commentates for BBC Sport and thinks it won't be long till we see Andy Murray on court on his own.

The screams of 'come on Tim' that filled Wimbledon from the mid 90s to the mid 00s could be heard with tinges of many emotions in them. These days the former British number one is like the rest of us, watching and hoping for British success.

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In the men's tournament that might be slightly reduced with Andy Murray's injury problems, that nearly caused him to retire, restricting him to doubles tennis. But 'Tiger Tim' believes that Murray could soon be back on court as a singles competitor.

Andy Murray recently returned to play doubles at Queen's but do you think he can make a comeback to singles?

Tim: I think he will yeah. I mean there's obviously need to keep building up the strength. Yeah, I'm optimistic.

I'm optimistic that it [doubles] can be a stepping stone. Doubles is certainly putting far less stress on the body, there's less court to cover and you know, you can build up the confidence in his movement and not have any setbacks.

So I think this is as I said part of the journey to getting back onto the single's court and that's I think where everyone like would like to see.

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Murray and partner Feliciano Lopez won the doubles at Queen's. Image: PA Images
Murray and partner Feliciano Lopez won the doubles at Queen's. Image: PA Images

How would you assess his return at Queen's?

Tim: I'd seen a lot of him, he'd been practicing at Wimbledon a fair amount. I think it was great for him mentally, even before winning the tournament, because he'd had enough time away from the game and it can get a tad tedious and monotonous when you're just doing the rehab. And it was good that it put so much attention on a doubles competition.

What did you make of Jo Konta's return to Grand Slam form at the French Open?

Tim: Amazing! It was fantastic to watch and I think it really was a classic example of someone with momentum and she played well on the clay. It's the surface that she's probably struggled a little bit in the past, but she made the final in Morocco, the final in the Italian Open and she continued that form and and you know a good example of you reap what you sow. she puts an enormous amount of effort.

Konta reached the semi final at Roland Garros, beating Sloane Stephens in the quarter. Image: PA Images
Konta reached the semi final at Roland Garros, beating Sloane Stephens in the quarter. Image: PA Images

When you look at the women's game, there's a lot of very good players, but you know, I don't think that there's necessarily a dominant force. There's been Serena obviously, but I think she's finding harder as she gets older. So there's a lot of opportunities for the others.

There's been a roof on Centre Court since 2009 and now there's one on Court One, but would you be a former Wimbledon champion if there was one in 2001?

Tim: You know, there would have still been a delay against Goran [Ivanisevic] and once you have a delay in the match that can ruin the rhythm of things. So, you know, there were plenty of matches that I had a break in and then was able to turn it around when I was losing. So it's swings and roundabouts but there's no doubt if I could if I could play one match again in my career it would definitely be the 2001 semi-final.

Court One with its new roof. Image: PA Images
Court One with its new roof. Image: PA Images

Topics: Serena Williams, Tennis news, Wimbledon, Andy Murray, BBC Sport

Ryan Sidle

Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.

 

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