Andy Murray had a swift and blunt response for Mats Wilander after the tennis legend questioned whether the Scottish star deserved a wildcard entry to the French Open.
Wilander, the Swedish former world no.1 who won seven grand slam titles over the course of his career, suggested Murray’s time in tennis’ top flight was over and that the French Open wildcard entry would only offer ‘false hope’ of a permanent comeback.
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Murray has been battling to rediscover form after a lengthy recovery from hip surgery, and is currently placed at 111 in the world rankings.
“I worry about Andy Murray,” Wilander said in an interview with Eurosport.
“I would love to hear him say why he is out there, giving us a false sense of hope that he is going to come back one day.
“I keep getting a little bit disappointed. Is it his right to be out there doing that? Why? I did it and I shouldn’t have, it was the biggest mistake I did in my career.
“I think Andy Murray needs to stop thinking about himself and start thinking about who he was. Does he have a right to be out there taking wildcards from the young players?
“It’s tough to quit, for sure. By giving us all hope by playing, it’s just not right.
“I love the fact that he is back and trying. Hopefully he’ll figure out why he’s doing it.”
In response, Murray posted a screenshot of Wilander’s comments on his Instagram story with a simple caption - ‘love this’.
French Open loss leaves Andy Murray with questions
What was billed as an opening day classic between two old warriors turned into a damp squib as Stan Wawrinka crushed Murray 6-1 6-3 6-2 at the French Open on Sunday.
The last time they met on Court Philippe Chatrier, in the 2017 semi-final, Wawrinka came through a five-set slugfest but this time it proved a painfully one-sided affair against a flat Murray.
When the opening three games on a near-empty showcourt took around 20 minutes, another battle royal looked possible between the players who both own three grand slam titles.
But as 16th seed Wawrinka, champion in Paris in 2015, raised his game, Murray, who wore black leggings on a chilly day, capitulated alarmingly with his trademark battling qualities conspicuous by their absence.
Swiss 35-year-old Wawrinka struck 42 winners to Murray's 10 as he powered to victory in one hour 37 minutes.
"I need to have a long hard think about it. It's not the sort of match I would just brush aside and not think about it," said Murray.
"I need to understand why the performance was like that."
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