LONDON (AFP) – Andy Murray says it “feels odd” that he and his brother Jamie are both in the Wimbledon doubles draw but are not playing together, as they contemplate a potential third-round meeting.
Murray is teaming up with Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the men’s doubles as he makes his return to Grand Slam tennis five months after undergoing hip-resurfacing surgery.
Murray said a practice session against fifth seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau “didn’t go amazingly well”.
“I like him a lot, he’s a nice guy, so I’m sure we’ll have fun,” he said. “I just hope we play a little bit better when the tournament starts.”
Murray made the perfect return to tennis by lifting the doubles title at Queen’s with Feliciano Lopez before a first-round loss alongside Marcelo Melo at Eastbourne earlier this week.
The Wimbledon draw pitted Murray and Herbert against the unseeded pair of Romania’s Marius Copil and Frenchman Ugo Humbert, but the real headline was a potential third-round meeting with Jamie and his new British partner Neal Skupski.
The brothers could have played together given Jamie’s split from long-time partner Bruno Soares after the French Open but the uncertain status of Andy’s fitness meant they decided against it.
“As it’s got closer I was more thinking it would have been nice to have been playing with him,” said Andy. “It feels a bit odd that we’re both in the doubles draw but we’re not playing together.
“But it would also be cool to play against each other and to have that memory. Although it would be difficult I’m sure, it would be nice if we both got there.”
Murray revealed he had received several offers from potential mixed doubles partners but remained undecided whether to commit to a second competition.
The 32-year-old has been in good spirits since returning to the court, in sharp contrast to his mood at the press conference he gave on the eve of the Australian Open in January when he tearfully admitted he was considering the end of his career because of debilitating pain.
Being free of pain has transformed Murray’s life away from the court and he described the last few months as the happiest he can remember.
“I’ve seen what my future will look like if I’m not playing and I’m fine with that,” said the former world number one
“I’m certain that if I stop playing tennis tomorrow that I’d be absolutely fine and enjoy my life, whereas last year I didn’t know what that looked like. And that’s something all athletes probably struggle with.”