Andy Murray urged to skip 2017 US Open by Tim Henman

By @saihoops on
2017 US Open, Tim Henman, Andy Murray
Tennis - Wimbledon - London, Britain - July 12, 2017 Great Britain’s Andy Murray reacts after losing his quarter final match against Sam Querrey of the U.S. Reuters /Andrew Couldridge

World No. 1 Andy Murray should skip the forthcoming US Open to avoid aggravating his hip injury, according to former British No. 1 Tim Henman. While defending his crown at Wimbledon, the 30-year-old Scot played through the pain barrier before losing in the quarter-final to American Sam Querrey. 

Since the defeat, Murray has maintained that he intends to play at Flushing Meadows next month. However, Henman has urged Murray to take a leaf out of Novak Djokovic's book. Djokovic, who forms the storied Big 4 of tennis along with Murray, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, has announced his decision to skip the 2017 US Open to rest from an elbow injury. In fact, the ailing Djokovic has taken an indefinite break from the sport. 

"First and foremost he’s (Murray) got to get fit and healthy because the standard is too good. You can’t compete unless you are 100 per cent healthy. I know he’s seeing some specialists to work out the plan of action and fingers crossed he can be healthy before the US Open. If he’s not he must take his time and make sure he gets it right. It was sad and disappointing to see him not able to compete as he would like at Wimbledon," Henman was quoted as saying by The Sun

Andy Murray should skip 2017 US Open, reckons Tim Henman

Henman believes the 30-year-old Murray needs to manage wear and tear to prolong his career. Roger Federer, 35, has smartly managed his workload this year. The Swiss Master missed the entirety of the European clay-court season to focus on the grass and hard-court seasons. 

“It will be hard for Andy because one of the most important aspects of Federer’s longevity is his physique. He’s much slighter, not so muscular and not carrying as much weight. That’s where I think with Andy he’s got a different physique and it’s more stressful. With his style of play he does a lot more running and retrieving and so I’d be surprised to see  Murray playing at 35, 36, but who knows?" added Henman, questioning Murray's ability to play beyond 35 like Federer.

Henman has asked Murray to focus on his strengths. “He’s got to play to his strengths. You can’t suddenly say ‘I’m going to change my style because I’m getting older.' Maybe that will mean being more aggressive, but it’s difficult to reinvent yourself. Federer hasn’t changed his game, he’s just been a little bit more aggressive and looked to take a few more risks, taking the ball a little bit earlier. But the priority for Murray is to be 100 per cent healthy.

"People were saying Roger was just going to play up to Rio 2016. Now you’re looking at him and thinking he’s got two more years in him for sure. I think the six months he had off, stepping away from the game, helped Federer mentally and physically," added Henman.

Andy Murray is in the middle of a torrid 2017 which has been marred by recurring injuries, bouts of flu and upset defeats. In 2016, Murray reached the finals of the first three Grand Slams besides winning the Wimbledon and ATP World Tour Finals. That unbelievable stretch propelled the Scot to World No. 1. This year, however, Murray has fallen off the cliff since starting the year on a strong note in Dubai.