28 September 2020 14:31
Andy Murray needs to stop thinking about himself, says Mats Wilander Andy Murray accepted a wild card into this year's French Open Andy Murray should consider whether he has the right to accept wild cards into Grand Slams at the expense of emerging young players, Mats Wilander has said after the former world No 1 crashed out of the French Open. Murray was given a wild card into the French Open but dropped out in the opening round on Sunday with a 6-1 6-3 6-2 defeat to Stan Wawrinka - his joint-worst loss at a Grand Slam. Mats Wilander on Andy Murray The Swede, who is working for Eurosport, said: "I worry about Andy Murray. I keep getting a little bit disappointed. Is it his right to be out there doing that?
I did it and I shouldn't have, it was the biggest mistake I did in my career. "I think Andy Murray needs to stop thinking of himself and start thinking about who he was." Murray, who returned to singles action last year after multiple hip surgeries, won the Antwerp title in October - a result that raised hopes he could again challenge at the top. Murray's Monday Motivation pic.twitter.com/2AFZJMo74s — Sky Sports Tennis (@SkySportsTennis) September 28, 2020 However, the three-time Grand Slam winner looked a pale shadow of himself against Wawrinka, losing in one hour and 37 minutes, after which he admitted he would have "a long, hard think" about his game. "It's tough to quit, for sure. By giving us all hope by playing, it's just not right," seven-time Grand Slam champion Wilander said.
"I love the fact that he is back and trying. Hopefully he'll figure out why he's doing it." Wilander's Eurosport colleague Alex Corretja, a former coach of Murray, said he respected Wilander's opinion but said Murray needs to be given a chance to enjoy the rest of his career. "My advice is to retire one year too late rather than one year too early," Spaniard Corretja said. "I believe that once the indoors season starts he will feel much better." Don't forget to follow us on skysports.com/tennis, our Twitter account @skysportstennis & Sky Sports - on the go! Available to download now on - iPhone & iPad and Android And he has a point. This is a man whose character has always been his principal strength, whose guts, single-mindedness and persistence were always the fuel that delivered the best from his physical advantages. So here was new opportunity to see whether, now finally able to play without pain, he could once more push himself to the top. By giving it another go, he was putting himself at the heart of an intriguing medical appraisal. Watching him falter in the autumn chill at Roland Garros, Wilander, however, was not sure the experiment was worth it. He was not only embarrassed for Murray, he felt there was something morally dubious about a clearly past-it champion using the grand slam circuit like a veteran's exhibition tour. "Does he have the right to be out there taking wild cards from younger players?" Wilander asked. Which suggested he had not spoken to Felix Augur Aliassime, the young Frenchman who had beaten Murray the round after his US Open comeback. Aliassime expressed his delight at being able to pitch his game against that of a hero. It was something to which Murray could relate: he has long regretted that he never got the chance to test himself against his youthful favourites Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. "I'm happy that I get the opportunity to play against the younger guys coming through," he said after losing to Aliassime, suggesting his new role is one of dream maker, the man generously offering the possibility of bettering the old guard. There is, though, one thing about Murray which suggests he may be closer to Wilander's analysis than his defiant public insistence on continuing suggests. He has never been someone who enjoys losing, however beneficial that defeat might be for his opponent. You suspect any more humiliation like he suffered in Paris and he will be gone. And when he does walk away, for those of us who have long cherished this magnificent sportsman, we can only hope we are afforded the possibility of saying proper goodbye, should crowds ever be allowed to return to the courtside.