Nadal and Federer delighted to welcome Murray back to ATP Tour

By Sports Desk June 04, 2019

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are both pleased to see Andy Murray preparing for a return to action, although they always believed a comeback was possible.

Former world number one Murray announced at the Australian Open that he planned to retire at Wimbledon later this year and may not even feature again beyond Melbourne.

His final match at the year's first grand slam saw the three-time major champion presented with well-wishing messages from an array of stars - including Nadal and Federer.

But after a resurfacing operation left his hip pain-free, Murray will play doubles at the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen's Club later this month.

Nadal, speaking after reaching the French Open semi-finals, suggested Murray had made a premature call in January but was delighted by his return.

"Being honest, for me, it was a little bit surprising that he announced [his retirement] that quick," the 11-time Roland Garros champion said.

"So I always thought that he would find a way to try to be back, because he is still young and still very passionate about the game. I'm happy to see that he is going to play again.

"That's great news - first, for him and for his team and family, and then for the Tour itself and then for the fans.

"It is good for the world of tennis. I am happy for it, and especially happy for him."

Federer, who will play Nadal in the last four in Paris, echoed the Spaniard's sentiments, also explaining why he had paid tribute to Murray in Australia.

"The Australian Open was early in the year and he's coming back for doubles," he said. "So from that standpoint, he knows, only he knows [about his return].

"We were more told that, from what I heard in the press conference, this could be it, so, 'can you please make a message?' OK, fine, we'll do a message. But we were hoping that this message is not actually real.

"For Andy, as well, when I saw him after his match against [Roberto] Bautista Agut, I also had just won my match. I saw him in the locker room, and I was like, 'so what's up? Are you really retiring?'

"He didn't know. Clearly there was a misunderstanding or he wasn't sure yet.

"I just think it was an emotional moment and he was just at a breaking point where he realised 'I cannot keep playing any more'.

"I have been there - like at Wimbledon, for instance, in 2016 - I realised I could not keep doing what I'm doing like this. It's just not healthy any more. He was in that moment and it just hit him.

"After we realised he wasn't sure, we were all hoping he would come back. And from what I'm hearing, there are two ways to look at it.

"It's number one for his health, and we want Andy to be healthy, more so than being a tennis player. But if he can play tennis on top of it, that's a super bonus.

"And I think all of us top guys would be thrilled to see him back on the Tour."

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