In his regular BBC Sport column, Andy Murray reveals how he approached French Open women’s singles champion Ashleigh Barty to play with him in the Wimbledon mixed doubles, discusses his emotional journey from possible retirement to making his competitive comeback at Queen’s and getting around on his new electric scooter.

I would like to play mixed doubles at Wimbledon next month and I have spoken to a couple of players about partnering up.

But I’ve been rejected a couple of times so far – in the nicest possible way, of course!

One of those people was Ash Barty.

I asked her during the French Open and she said no because she is already playing in singles and doubles, so didn’t want to play in three competitions.

Of course, I understood that.

She also said: “There’s many better out there than me.’ Then a few days later she won the French Open, so I fired her a message saying I told her she was one of the best – but she still rejected me!

It is a shame we can’t play together because I want the best partner possible.

I’m sure I will find another great partner, providing I feel good enough to play the men’s and mixed doubles. That said, I need to wait and see how I’m feeling first.

Andy Murray's tweet from January 2018 saying how he thinks Ashleigh Barty has a brilliant future ahead of her
Andy Murray has long been a fan of Barty, highlighting the Australian as a player to watch out for in January last year

‘Tennis hasn’t made me emotional recently’

Making my return at Queen’s was a special moment; it was really nice being back on a tennis court and I enjoyed it.

I was happy playing again. But I wasn’t overcome with emotion on the court.

The past couple of years have been an emotional time for me, and when it came to the Australian Open I decided I had had enough and was able to speak out about it.

Before that it was really difficult for me to do that.

Because of how professional sport is, you end up telling everyone you’re OK and you’re feeling a bit better. But you’re not.

You say things like that to try to sound optimistic and not tell everyone how much you’re struggling.

I might have had to play against those people asking me how I was, so I wasn’t going to tell them that my hip was killing me and then play them the following day.

But over the past few months I haven’t been emotional with regards to tennis.

Andy Murray and Feliciano Lopez
Murray’s will to win was evident as he and Feliciano Lopez (right) earned an impressive 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 win against Colombian top seeds Robert Farah and Juan Sebastian Cabal on Thursday

I was nervous going out on to the court for the doubles match with Feliciano Lopez – and I was nervous throughout most of the match.

It felt very different to when I came back here last year, playing Nick Kyrgios in the singles. I was really emotional that day.

There have only been a couple of other times in the past few months when I have been nervous.

That’s been on aeroplanes, because I get butterflies and sweaty palms when I take off on flights. And the other time was playing in the golf club championships at Wentworth last week – especially when I handed in my card having shot triple figures!

When I’m on court I notice my nerves in my legs a bit and sometimes I don’t breathe properly.

Nerves are funny because they manifest in players in different ways.

For some, it affects the way they think, but it doesn’t affect me in that way. I feel I am able to think quite clearly and calmly.

‘I didn’t see Scotland’s VAR controversy’

Before the match I received plenty of messages of support from my family and friends. The people closest to me – my wife and my team, particularly – know exactly what I’ve been going through and they have been with me throughout the whole journey.

They have seen everything I’ve been through and I think they were a bit apprehensive and a bit nervous, even though they didn’t want to show it.

That’s because it was my first match playing with what is essentially a metal hip! But it was great, it went well and I’m pleased that they were there to see it.

Kim Sears
Kim Sears watches husband Murray at Queen’s on Thursday

The match being pushed back a day by the rain didn’t affect me too much. I practised as normal on Wednesday but, unfortunately, I didn’t get to see Scotland’s match in the Women’s World Cup. I heard it was another video assistant referee (VAR) controversy though…

And on Thursday morning I had a swim with my kids and then we all walked the dogs. I say walked, we hopped on my electric scooter – which I got for my birthday – for most of it!

I love being able to do things like that, especially now I’m pain free.


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