July 16, 2024

Andy Murray has received another offer to return to Wimbledon for the Invitational doubles (Image: Getty)

Andy Murray is in high demand at Wimbledon despite planning to retire this summer.
Andy Murray has received a second offer to return to Wimbledon and play doubles next year. The former world No. 1 is set to retire at the Olympics in less than a month.

He has already addressed his potential return to SW19 next year, eyeing up a coaching role. But he will also be eligible to play in the Invitational doubles as a retired player in 2025.

After Ash Barty asked him to partner her in the mixed doubles version of the legends event, Murray’s former partner Feliciano Lopez has sent a plea to revive their successful team after they won Queen’s together five years ago.

Lopez retired last year and is back at Wimbledon in the invitational draw playing alongside Jeremy Chardy. And he is already eyeing a new partner for the retired players’ competition in 12 months’ time.

The Spaniard teamed up with Murray for the Brit’s return from hip resurfacing surgery in 2019. They won Murray’s first tournament back at the Queen’s Club. Asked whether he would revive their fruitful partnership in 2025, Lopez said: “Of course. I would love to, I would love to.”

The former world No. 12 then leaned in to send a clear message to the three-time Grand Slam champion. “Andy, I’m waiting for you for next year invitational. I hope this time you don’t say no,” he smiled.

Feliciano Lopez and Andy Murray won Queen’s doubles together in 2019 (Image: Getty)

Explaining how Murray had rejected him in the past, Lopez continued: “Not for the invitational. But I wanted to play some more doubles with him the last three years after Queen’s but he was mainly focused on his singles career, he was going through a lot of injuries. Of course we would’ve loved to play more doubles but it was just not possible so maybe next year I’ll play here with him?”

The 42-year-old also shed light on what made Murray the perfect doubles partner. “I mean his understanding of the game, he reads the game I think faster than myself and I think the majority of the players. He’s very smart, he reads the game very well and he’s a great doubles partner of course,” he said.

And Lopez paid his own tribute to his former doubles partner after Murray was honoured with tributes in a Centre Court ceremony last Thursday. “Legend. This is in every sense of the word,” he stated.

Andy Murray
Andy Murray was honoured with a Centre Court ceremony (Image: Getty)

“I mean, I think he was a little but unlucky to play in this generation of players. I think he, I’m sure he could’ve won many more Majors and many more tournaments without the Big Three but at the same time he was very brave to challenge them, to be No. 1 in the world in that generation. So I have only good words for Andy, I respect him as a player, as a human being as well. I wish him the best for the rest of his life.”

Lopez’s invitation to Murray comes days after Ash Barty told Express Sport she would be up for playing with the 37-year-old in the Invitational mixed doubles next year. Barty famously rejected Murray’s offer to play mixed in the main draw in 2019.

“I would have loved to play mixed doubles with Andy, but singles were my focus and I had already entered ladies doubles as well,” the Australian said. “I’m not sure my body would have coped with mixed doubles too. Maybe Andy will play in the Invitational with me here next year?!”

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