Tim Henman backs Andy Murray to play in 2021 Wimbledon

Tim Henman backs Andy Murray to play Wimbledon next year after it was cancelled due to coronavirus and believes former world No 1 will benefit from the extended break

  • Tim Henman is confident Andy Murray will play at Wimbledon before he retires 
  • The 2020 tournament has been cancelled due to the global coronavirus crisis 
  • Henman believes the extended break may even make the ex-World No 1 stronger 
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

Tim Henman believes that Wimbledon crowds will get to see Andy Murray play there again, even if they have to wait another 15 months.

Henman admitted that the tournament’s cancellation left him in ‘a state of shock’ even though, as a main committee member, he was on the inside of the decision-making process.

As a result, we have lost the chance to see Murray, 32, return — something that Henman believes he was close to doing.

Andy Murray is continuing his comeback to full fitness after undergoing hip resurfacing

The former World No 1 attempts a 100-volley challenge with his wife Kim Sears

Andy Murray plays a gentle return to wife Kim in their back garden as the couple laid down a ‘100-volley challenge’ during the coronavirus lockdown. 

The Murrays, who posted the video encouraging tennis fans to keep active, completed it on their second try — with Kim putting their failed first attempt down to her using a child’s racket! 

‘I have seen him practise a bit a few weeks ago when it looked like there might be a chance to go to the Miami Open,’ said Henman. ‘He will be pretty frustrated because he is getting close to getting back out on the court.

‘I remember playing with Andre Agassi and he had 18 months out, but he came back fresh and invigorated, and kept going until he was 36. 

In those days that was old for a top tennis player but with training techniques and injury prevention players are going longer.

‘So you would like to think that if Andy’s body permits, and he still has the motivation, there can still definitely be a few Wimbledons left in him.’

The original plan was to hold back on any cancellation until late this month but, as Henman concedes, events spiralled after the abandonment of the Indian Wells Masters on March 9.

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Sending out a challenge to all tennis players and fans… The ? volley challenge. There was no fighting or bickering during the filming of this video? I think the last volley was aimed at my head though…enjoy I can’t be the only one who wants to see rog and mirka hitting a few balls together…? #100volleychallenge #stayhome #tennisathome #homecourt #AMC @rogerfederer @k1ngkyrg1os @rafaelnadal @djokernole @stanwawrinka85 @delpotrojuan @serenawilliams @venuswilliams @carowozniacki @alexzverev123 @felilopezoficial @g.e.m.s.life @jamie__murray @bryanbros @atptour @wta @tennistv @johannakonta @ashbarty @heatherwatson92 @kyle.edmund @naomiosaka @sofia.kenin @biancaandreescu_ @simonahalep @karolinapliskova @sloanestephens @grigordimitrov @julrojer @cocogauff @tay_taytownsend @barborastrycova @andreapetkovici @brooklyndecker @felixaliassime @castore_sportswear @lta @itf__tennis

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Sending out a challenge to all tennis players and fans… The �� volley challenge. There was no fighting or bickering during the filming of this video�� I think the last volley was aimed at my head though…enjoy I can’t be the only one who wants to see rog and mirka hitting a few balls together…�� #100volleychallenge #stayhome #tennisathome #homecourt #AMC @rogerfederer @k1ngkyrg1os @rafaelnadal @djokernole @stanwawrinka85 @delpotrojuan @serenawilliams @venuswilliams @carowozniacki @alexzverev123 @felilopezoficial @g.e.m.s.life @jamie__murray @bryanbros @atptour @wta @tennistv @johannakonta @ashbarty @heatherwatson92 @kyle.edmund @naomiosaka @sofia.kenin @biancaandreescu_ @simonahalep @karolinapliskova @sloanestephens @grigordimitrov @julrojer @cocogauff @tay_taytownsend @barborastrycova @andreapetkovici @brooklyndecker @felixaliassime @castore_sportswear @lta @itf__tennis

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Former British No 1 Tim Henman believes Murray can continue playing for several more years

‘With Wimbledon being at the start of July, we didn’t think we would have to make a decision until much later. But it has been so fast-moving. It became clear quite quickly that early postponement or cancellation were the options.’

Matters were eased by there being a strong insurance at SW19 taking in pandemics that will shield them from the worst of the financial consequences.

By how much will not be known for months, especially as there are believed to be more than 10 companies involved in the policies that cover them.

Wimbledon will not be held this year due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic

As part of the fallout the London-based International Tennis Federation have furloughed half of their 133 staff, and nearly 100 have been put on a similar arrangement at the Lawn Tennis Association.

Henman hopes that an upshot of the crisis will be that bodies co-operate more and that steps will be taken to protect lower-ranked players.

‘When the time is right, we have all got to come together and work better together,’ he said. ‘I think there is going to be a collective desire to get around the table and say: What can we do moving forward from this?’

 

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