Mark Petchey believes Andy Murray will be a different animal when he returns to tennis and “will come back even more hungry than ever”.
Murray announced earlier in the week that he has opted for rest and rehabilitation due to a hip injury, with the likelihood that he will take the remainder of the season off.
The former world No 1 has not entirely ruled out playing again this year, pulling out of the ATP Tour events in Beijing and Shanghai but keeping his options open for the tournaments in Vienna and Paris.
The 30-year-old has struggled with the problem, which relates to a long-term condition, since his French Open defeat by Stan Wawrinka in June and limped through his Wimbledon campaign.
“I can’t say whether all the efforts and excursions of 2016 at the back end to get to year-end world No 1, and then obviously having a short off-season ahead of what was a big goal for him in Australia, and again pushing himself as hard as he could actually contributed to his hip injury,” said Murray’s former coach Petchey, speaking from New York.
“He’s somebody who has always pushed himself to the limit on court and off court and clearly this is a very punishing sport, but with the raft of injuries we’ve had, we could be asking the question of a lot of players right now in terms of why they have picked up this injury.
“So I have no idea the cause of it. I obviously just want to see him back on court as quickly as possible.”
If Murray’s hip cooperates, the Scot plans to start his 2018 season in Brisbane, when he is likely to be ranked well outside the top 10, but Petchey does not believe his hunger and desire for the game will have diminished one bit and claims he will be back even stronger.
“Andy’s appetite for winning will never stop,” said Petchey. “The only thing that will slow him down is Father Time. It’s not going to be his desire. His desire will stay unconditional to the sport that he loves.
“We’ve seen it from Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal this year. The only time that they have been derailed at any stage in terms of racking up the success when they would like is when their bodies have not been able to stand the rigours of the sport and the tour.
“I would imagine that Andy will come back even more hungry than ever. If his hunger had been diminished then he wouldn’t have been in New York desperate to try and play.”
Mark Petchey was speaking to Sky Sports’ Raz Mirza from New York. Sky Sports Tennis will have all the action from the US Open finals covered via our website www.skysports.com/tennis this weekend with our live blogs and updates as the Grand Slam year reaches its climax.
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