Andy Murray: Fans will make 'huge difference' at Wimbledon, says two-time champion

Andy Murray won the singles title at Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016
Andy Murray won the singles title at Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016

Andy Murray is looking forward to playing in front of what he hopes will be a substantial crowd at Wimbledon.

The tournament, cancelled in 2020, begins on 28 June, seven days after all Covid restrictions could be lifted in England.

A final decision on numbers will be delayed as long as possible, with tickets due to go on sale in June.

"For me, it would make a huge difference," said two-time champion Murray.

"Hopefully we can get some good crowds in. We've heard 30 per cent, but I don't know if that's 30 per cent of their usual capacity but they'll be allowed to have Centre Court and Court One full. So we'll see.

"At the beginning I didn't miss it (crowds) that much, I was just pumped to be competing again. But, as the weeks go on, that's kind of what you play for, to play in front of big crowds and play in great atmospheres. It's something that I've definitely missed."

Murray, 33, lives just a short drive away from Wimbledon but will need to stay at a designated hotel within a "biosecure bubble", in line with ATP protocols.

"Obviously I would way rather not be staying in a hotel," said the former world number one. "It would be a shame but, if that's what we've got to do to keep everyone safe, then that's what we'll do.

"We've been told that the ticketing for Wimbledon is going to be vastly reduced for the players for family. It would be very odd playing at Wimbledon without, not just being able to see your family, but not having them there to support in the matches as well.

"That's the times we're living in. Hopefully, if we keep going with the vaccinations, there'll be a possibility for family members and friends that have been vaccinated to come in. If not, that's what it will have to be this year."

Murray has never lost a singles match before the third round at the All England Club, and reached at least the quarter-finals every year between 2008 and his last appearance in 2017.

'I need to be consistently practising'

Andy Murray played in the doubles and mixed doubles at Wimbledon in 2019
Murray played in the doubles and mixed doubles at Wimbledon in 2019 - following a second hip operation

Last month's Miami Open had been due to be Murray's first tournament following the birth of his fourth child but injury struck again, this time a groin problem.

Having missed the Australian Open after contracting coronavirus, the Scot, who had a metal hip implanted early in 2019, reached the final at a Challenger event in Italy in February before early exits in Montpellier and Rotterdam on a brief return to the ATP Tour.

"I need to be consistently practising (rather than) having these enforced breaks," he said after being on court last week playing points. "That was the thing in December, why I think I got into such a good place was because of the two months of practising basically six days a week every week for a couple of months.

"By the end of that my game started to feel really good. That's the first thing is to be able to be on the practice court consistently and then I obviously need to get the matches. How many matches that is, I don't know."

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC