Andy Murray has earned the right to decide when he wants retire and he still has what it takes to be competitive against the top players, former British No 1 Laura Robson told Tennis365 in an interview.
Having started the year outside the top 130 in the ATP Rankings, Murray has made steady progress over the past few months as he finished runner-up at the Stuttgart Open and also reached the quarter-final of the Hall of Fame Open to move back into the top 50.
However, there have also been some disappointing results along the way as he lost in the second round at Wimbledon and the first round at last week’s Citi Open and this week’s Canadian Open.
The three time-Grand Slam winner had high hopes of putting together a good run in Washington DC and Toronto to be seeded for the US Open, but now appears unlikely as he sits at No 48 with only next week’s ATP Masters 1000 Western & Southern Open remaining before the cut-off date.
On the back of his early exits in recent weeks there have been suggestions that Murray should call it a day, but the former world No 1 has made it clear that he will continue to play the sport that he loves, stating: “It has also given me a purpose each day. There is a routine because you’re always trying to improve yourself and get better at something. I enjoy that process.
“I love this sport. That’s essentially why I am back and why I wanted to keep going: because I love the sport.”
Asked about the questions surrounding Murray’s future, Robson told Tennis365’s Kevin Palmer in an exclusive interview: “I just don’t understand it, he is enjoying himself, he is playing great tennis. I think the results are coming, they are getting better and better.
“As long as he is having a good time out there and looking to continue improving there is absolutely no reason why he can’t challenge the top players and keep going. We talk about [Roger] Federer coming back as well and he just turned 41.”
Robson who was speaking as Play Your Way to Wimbledon ambassador, conceded that Murray’s life is being made difficult by the fact that the gap between the big-name players and the rest of the top 100 is narrowing all the time.
She explained: “He is coming up against younger players, players who are so fit. I feel like everyone in the top 100 is now an incredible athlete, there is not much of a gap anymore. It is almost turning into how the women’s side is where that depth is just getting better and better.
“I was watching [world No 54 Yoshihito] Nishioka playing and thinking ‘he should be ranked a lot higher’. Players like that you think ‘wow, they are incredible, they are so quick on the hard courts’.
“That is the tough draw at the moment, you come up against one of these young guys and they think they can win.”
The competition looks to inspire the next generation of tennis talent; allowing junior players to follow in the footsteps of their heroes and compete for a chance to play on Wimbledon’s iconic courts.
Formerly known as the Road to Wimbledon, the competition launched in March and is delivered in partnership by the LTA, The All-England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, and Vodafone.
Thousands of 14&U and 18&U players took part in the qualifying stages this year, leading to county and regional finals in June and July, with the winners progressing to the national finals on Wimbledon’s famous grass courts this week.