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‘Andy Murray could have won a calendar or career Grand Slam if not for injury,’ says legend Rod Laver



Andy Murray

Injury alone denied denied Andy Murray the chance to win a career, or even calendar, slam, says Australian legend Rod Laver.

Murray has three Grand Slam titles to his name, two at Wimbledon and one US Open.

He has had major success in the other Slams though, too, reaching five Australian Open finals and one French Open final as well.

In 2016, the year he reached world number one, he won Wimbledon and lost to other finals and Laver, the only man to win two calendar slams in his career, thinks Murray was certainly capable of doing it before injury struck.

Andy Murray and Rod Laver

“I think Andy Murray could have won a calendar Grand Slam if he hadn’t been injured,” Laver told Herald and Times Sport.

“He learned to play more ‘kill shots’ when he had his opponent down.

“Although the French Open might have been the biggest challenge he definitely had the game to win on clay.”

Novak Djokovic has held all the Grand Slams at once before, but has ever achieved a calendar slam, which is to win all four majors in the same calendar year.

Andy Murray urged to return to clay while on recovery trail

Andy Murray practice

Cape Town – Andy Murray’s former coach Alex Corretja feels the Brit should make a return to the clay court this season in a bid to return to full fitness ahead of Wimbledon.

Former world No 1 Murray is yet to play competitive tennis this year after he withdrew from the ATP Cup, Australian Open, Open Sud de France and the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.

“The bone bruising is taking longer to heal than first thought,” the 32-year-old said after his decision to withdraw from Montpellier and Rotterdam.

“I don’t want to rush anything or put a timeline on my recovery. I’m going to listen to my body and step back on the court to compete when the time is right.”

He is yet to confirm when he will be back on the tennis court, but he no doubt wants to be 100% for the grass-court season and Wimbledon.

The clay-court season precedes the grass campaign and it can be taxing while Murray hasn’t played on the red dirt since 2017.

Eurosport pundit Corretja, though, believes he should use the clay to prepare for the grass season.

“I really don’t know exactly how he feels now but clay, he should use it to get enough matches to be ready for grass,” the Spaniard said.

“Because if he skips the clay-court season, there is going to be such a long gap before the grass. And grass is only three weeks, so it is difficult to get the feeling of so many matches.

Andy Murray

“He needs to go thinking that those matches are the best preparation I could have to be ready for Wimbledon, and that’s the only thing he needs to know.

“The more matches he gets, the better, but he doesn’t need to get overcooked. He’s got experience and his body is suffering.

“If he will be playing so many matches, it won’t change anything, because for him to reach the semi-finals in Madrid or in another tournament, it’s not going to make any difference.

“But, if something’s going to make a difference for him, it’s to have a good tournament at Wimbledon. And that means to be healthy.”

Playing at Roland Garros is a different kettle of fish though as Grand Slams are best of five sets and playing a lot of long matches may not be in Murray’s best long-term interest.

“It’s very demanding, and maybe you play three matches, those three matches, they can be five sets, four sets, five sets, and you are only in the fourth round. And if you are only in the fourth round, for Andy, it’s nothing,” Corretja continued.

“Maybe he should say, ‘OK, I go back home, I stay in London, I practice’, and just get ready for Queen’s.”