Jamie Murray column on missing Wimbledon, if he'll play the US Open & the Battle of the Brits

Jamie Murray BBC Sport Columnist graphic

This week should have been the start of Wimbledon and it is sad the Championships are not on, the tournament means so much to so many people all over the world.

I've always been open that my biggest goal before I finish playing is winning the men's doubles there. This is one less opportunity to win it.

Not having the Wimbledon fortnight is also a big loss in terms of growing the sport and getting more new people exposed to tennis.

But the sport has had a good opportunity to attract new people during a difficult year, because it was one of the first allowed back under social distancing rules.

So I think there were people who started playing tennis because that was the sport they were allowed to go out and do in the guidelines.

Jamie Murray and Martina Hingis celebrate winning the WImbledon mixed doubles title in 2017
Jamie Murray won the Wimbledon mixed doubles title alongside Martina Hingis in 2017, 10 years after lifting the same trophies with Jelena Jankovic

These are incredibly unique and exceptional circumstances. Hopefully next year Wimbledon will be back bigger and better than ever.

I was at the All England Club on Tuesday for the Wimbledon evening programme with Sue Barker on BBC Two. On Monday night I watched the programme with Tim Henman's classic match against Yevgeny Kafelnikov, which was cool.

That match was a massive stepping stone for Tim and I kind of remember watching it as a kid. I was definitely aware of the match, the score and the stage of his career at that time.

It was funny seeing how young Tim looked and the different clothing, they are so much stricter on the whites these days!

'I'll wait and see before making a final US Open decision'

The ATP Tour is set to resume in mid-August and the plan for me and Neal Skupski is to play in the behind-closed-doors US Open.

We probably have to see how things develop over there, hopefully things improve over the next six weeks and the situation eases a bit for the tennis event. I'm happy to wait before making a final decision.

The United States Tennis Association are desperate for it to go ahead and have given the players worst-case scenarios in terms of the conditions they would be playing in. But if the cases started going up in New York State then maybe it won't be possible to have the event.

I don't mind getting on a plane in these conditions, but there aren't many direct flights to New York yet so that would have to change!

Neal Skupski and Jamie Murray go for the same ball at the 2019 US Open
Neal Skupski and Jamie Murray reached the 2019 US Open men's doubles semi-finals

I'm not worried from a health and safety point of view. If you're smart and follow the right guidelines, then you're limiting your chances of picking it up.

There would be a lot of testing through the tournament to make sure there are not positive cases and if there are, those people will have to be removed from the event.

A lot of players will want to get out there and compete, that's our livelihood and our jobs. It is not going to be perfect conditions but it is still an opportunity to go and play Grand Slam tennis.

Last week we held the Battle of the Brits event, which provided competition for our leading men's players for the first time since the ATP Tour was suspended in March.

I think we showed it is possible to host tennis events in a safe environment, although it was on a much smaller scale than the ones we're talking about being played in the United States.

After the Adria Tour we were under even more scrutiny and we had to do everything we could to create the safest environment possible.

We've seen a lot of criticism coming the way of some tennis players for their behaviour - everyone will have to do their bit to make the US Open safe for everyone.

If a few players are breaching restrictions, mixing with the general public and someone catches it, we're all going to be in a confined environment and there is a good chance that will spread to other players, coaches and event staff. Everyone would have to be very vigilant.

'Finally I can get some proper sleep after the Battle of the Brits'

I organised the Battle of the Brits event and was the tournament director, as well as playing in the doubles (which Neal and I won!).

I think the event went well, we got good feedback from everyone involved. The players had a good time and enjoyed the event for what it was, they competed hard and got stuck into all the matches.

I hope the fans at home who wanted to watch it or follow it online enjoyed watching live sport too.

Obviously it is a time of year when we're used to having tennis on our screens all day every day, with the likes of Eastbourne, Nottingham, Queen's and, of course Wimbledon, so we tried to bring some sort of normality to life.

The first day was the most stressful for me because I wanted it to go well and have no hiccups. After that, the rest of the week wasn't too bad.

The weeks leading up to the tournament were so stressful, trying to organise everything and spin so many plates. Finally I can get some good nights' sleep now because I don't think I slept properly for a few weeks!

There was so much to organise in such a short space of time, we did it in eight or nine weeks, and obviously in strange circumstances. The logistics went into so much detail.

For example, one minute you're in a meeting about the zones for where each person and team is allowed to be. So, the television production team is based in one zone and no-one can go there except them, only they can use specific toilets, and then it is the same for the commentators, Hawk-Eye, and every other team. It was very complicated.

Then 10 minutes later, you'd take another phone call and it might be about the production side of things and the court set-up, where the cameras are going to be positioned to get the right shot of the players as they walk on court.

Also you're trying to sort the catering and calling around to hire fridges and freezers to store food and drinks for the players. And you're making sure the players are going into the event with their eyes wide open, aware of the guidelines that need to be followed.

As a player I know what they need or expect when they turn up to an event and I wanted them to have a good time. One of the guidelines was about every player having their own player hub, so they got a bedroom each at the National Tennis Centre.

Then it was about making sure they had enough towels, practice balls, water, food... making sure they had everything they normally have at an event.

It was hard work. But seeing the court being built, the players walking out on to it and how the event went, it has been worth it.

Jamie Murray was talking to BBC Sport's Jonathan Jurejko

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