Andy Murray is set to make a return to action this summer in a charity driven event, being billed as the ‘Battle of the Brits’ tournament to raise money for NHS charities.
Murray will take part in ‘Schroders Battle of the Brits’, which is scheduled to take place behind closed doors at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton in late June.
It will be the first competitive tennis played in the UK since the current pandemic began and a resumption of the National Championships played until 2002. The Guardian reported that viewers will be able to watch the action live on Amazon Prime, with Hawkeye technology used for line calls to limit the number of people on the court.
Whilst brother, Jamie, is organising the event, Andy is probably the biggest draw on the card. He is a three-time Grand Slam winner, including two Wimbledon triumphs in 2013 and again in 2016. Bwin Sports reports that Murray is the only person to win the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year three times, in 2013, 2015 and 2016. He bounced back from injury in 2014, dropping out of the world’s top 10, but fought back to claim the World Number One spot in 2016. He also helped claim a Davis Cup win in 2015, as well as taking his second Olympic gold in 2016, following on from his first at London 20102.
A persistent hip injury appeared to have ended the Dunblane-born star’s career in the aftermath of his 2017 Wimbledon quarter-final defeat against Sam Querrey, and he has since made just two Grand Slam appearances, both ending in early defeats. However, he is now on the comeback trail, and his inclusion in the upcoming tournament suggests he is looking to fight his way back to fitness, perhaps even to challenge for major honours once again. He has not played competitive tennis since November’s Davis Cup Finals because of injury, but brother Jamie revealed he had been considering a return to the ATP Tour in Miami in late March, prior to tennis being suspended.
“He had aspirations to go play in Miami before the lockdown happened,” he is reported as saying ahead of the tournament. “Then, obviously, he is in the same situation as everyone else for the past couple of months of being at home, not practising.
“I think, for him, this event is a great opportunity to put his hip through its paces and see where he’s at, and give him a good idea of where he’s going to be at when the season starts up again.”
From a domestic point of view, the tournament is hugely exciting. It will be the first opportunity fans get to see the top eight players from Great Britain come together in direct competition since the abolition of the National Championships in 2002. Andrew Castle, Jeremy Bates, Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski were all previous winners of the tournament, with Alex Bogdanovic the last winner back in 2002.
Not having a broadcaster was given as the original reason for the discontinuation of the competition, but with Murray on board and a thirst for live sport across the country, it could once again become a part of the British tennis calendar, should it be a success.