Andy Murray has described his decision to miss Wimbledon as one of the best he has ever made.
The two-time champion pulled out on the eve of the tournament after deciding he was not quite ready to play best-of-five-set tennis following almost a year sidelined by hip problems.
Murray has been following the tournament on television between training on the hard courts in preparation for what he expects to be his next tournament in Washington at the end of the month.
He made his first visit to the All England Club on Tuesday as a studio guest
for the BBC and said of seeing the tournament going on without him for the first time since 2007: “I thought it was going to be worse.
“I think it’s probably one of the best decisions I’ve made, not to play. It was
a really, really difficult decision for me but last year I came in when my hip
was bad and got through to the quarters and I haven’t played since then pretty
much, and missed a whole year because of that.
“This year I was feeling a bit better but I didn’t want to go into the event
and potentially play four or five matches and do any damage again. I just wanted to make a smart decision.
“I was really close. I was here practising playing sets on Saturday and obviously I was desperate to play, and that’s why I think it was such a good decision because the emotions start to take over and you think maybe I could get through a few matches and then you never know.
“But in reality, when I thought about it long and hard, I was very unlikely to win the event and the smart thing to do was stay at home.”
As well as the Citi Open in Washington, Murray has also taken a wild card into the Rogers Cup in Toronto the following week and will hope to make his grand slam return at the US Open starting on August 27.
Murray said: “As soon as I got on the hard courts on Monday I felt better because of that stability of the surface. When you’re coming back from an injury like a hip on an unstable surface where you’re worried about pretty much every step that you take, as soon as I got on the hard courts I felt a lot more comfortable.
“Hopefully that will help my movement and therefore free up my hip a little bit. Obviously the impact on the hard courts is a bit greater than it is on the grass but I feel like it’s going to be positive for me.”
As well as his own health and prospects, Murray analysed the tournament, and it was no surprise to see the Scot, a real tennis enthusiast, show in-depth knowledge of both the men’s and women’s draw.
The 31-year-old appeared immediately comfortable in the role, joking with good friend Tim Henman. He will get another chance to test out his broadcasting skills on Wednesday when he makes his commentary debut.
Former British number one Greg Rusedski, who made the transition from playing to media work, backed Murray to be a success.
“He is a student of the game,” said Rusedski. “I would rather see him on court but I think it will be very interesting to hear his opinions because he has played all these players, he has won and got the T-shirt.”