Delgado: 'Murray Was Coming Close To Return'
Murray's coach talks to ATP Tennis Radio this week
Jamie Delgado says that former World No. 1 Andy Murray was close to making a comeback before the COVID-19 global pandemic led to the suspension of ATP Tour events last month.
Speaking this week to ATP Tennis Radio, Delgado admitted, “Andy and I were practising a couple of weeks ago on the hard, with the potential of playing Miami, but we were holding on [over a decision] after the Indian Wells event cancellation. We then practised on clay for some days, then bit by bit [the world] closed down. We will just have to wait and see when the restrictions lift for everyone.
“It’s a tough time for everyone, not just on the tennis court, but the whole world has come to a halt. I haven’t left the house for a couple of days, and I only leave to get food and exercise once per day… My parents were on a cruise a couple of weeks ago in Central America, but were fortunate to get off and get a flight.”
Delgado, who joined Murray’s team in February 2016, first assisting Ivan Lendl, then as the Scot’s full-time coach from November 2017, isn’t sure when the Tour will resume. This week, the ATP Tour was suspended until 13 July.
“Tennis is such an international, global sport, that it may take a while to get back. Players, coaches, officials, sponsors and fans are all involved,” says Delgado. “It’s not like a domestic football league, where no one is needed to fly in or fly out. With Andy coming close to fitness, this virus was the last thing we wanted.”
The 43-year-old is used to biding his time, following Murray’s rehabilitation from two hip surgeries in recent years and a pelvic injury that has prevented the former World No. 1 from competing since November 2019.
Delgado also told the weekly radio podcast, which is broadcast every Sunday, “This is a unique situation for everybody. What can be done from a tennis player’s perspective is to stay in shape, stay prepared as things could change and tournaments may start up again.
“Here, in London, all the clubs and courts are closed, so it’s difficult to hit balls. Andy doesn’t have a court at home. [But] it’s important to have a racquet in your hand, even if it’s hitting against a wall. Rolling over some serves, particularly as injuries and niggles can arise if you haven’t played for a while.”
As a player, Delgado competed at The Championships, Wimbledon, for 23 consecutive years until his retirement in 2014. In the final years of his career, he started coaching Gilles Muller, who rose from No. 366 in the 2013 year-end FedEx ATP Rankings to the Top 50 by the end of the 2014 season.