What would you do if you got a text message from Andy Murray at 2:30 a.m.? In the case of his hip surgeon early Monday morning, she answered within five minutes.
During a pre-tournament press conference Monday at the Nature Valley International in Eastbourne, where he is playing doubles with Brazil's Marcelo Melo, Murray was asked if he had spoken to his surgeon about how his hip held up during his title run at Queen's. That led to this light-hearted exchange with reporters.
“She came to watch last week. Got some tickets for her on the day where I played the two matches, quarter-final, semi-final matches. And then messaged her yesterday when I got in, actually from when I got in from dinner at like 2:30 in the morning and she responded within five minutes,” Murray said. “I was, like, 'God, she's supposed to be operating tomorrow morning. I don't want to be the first one on the list Monday'.”
Murray returned from a January right hip surgery last week at the Fever-Tree Championships. But not only did the Scot play, he captured the doubles title alongside Feliciano Lopez at The Queen’s Club, where he previously won five singles trophies. The 32-year-old hasn’t heard his surgeon’s thoughts on how he looked, though.
“I haven't actually asked her about that, because obviously when I had gone to see her for a checkup and to chat, obviously she sees you walking in, but she's not seeing all of the training and things that you're doing. So it's just sort of going off what you're saying and what your team is telling her,” Murray said. “But obviously she got a chance to watch a few days ago. I haven't actually spoken to her since she's seen me play. I think she's just happy that my hip doesn't hurt really anymore.”
It was Murray’s first ATP Tour doubles title since 2011 Tokyo, which he won with brother Jamie Murray. It was the former World No. 1’s first singles title since 2017 Dubai.
“I went out for dinner with Feli the other night, because when I won that tournament in Dubai, I was trying to get my team to — I said before the week, ‘If I win the tournament, I want to do a skydive’,” Murray recalled. “All of my team rejected it and were, like, ‘No chance we're doing that’. Obviously that turned out to be the last tournament that I won, and I had a lot of health problems after that, because I had the issue with my elbow straight afterwards in Indian Wells, and then I had the issues with my hip quite soon afterwards.
“I was saying to them, you'll need to make sure you enjoy those moments, because you don't know what's around the corner and what might happen. And at the time you sometimes forget that winning a tournament like that is really, really special.”
Preparing for Tuesday's Eastbourne opener against top seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah (whom Murray and Lopez defeated at The Queen’s Club), the Scot and Melo were able to practise for less than an hour Monday.
“Me and Feli were playing quite conventional doubles, and he expects to play a bit more I-formation and a lot more of moving around at the net and stuff,” Murray said. “So that will be again a different sort of challenge tomorrow, but it can also be very effective if done well.
“He's good fun, a pretty laid-back guy. Hopefully we'll do well.”
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A reporter asked Murray whether he would bungee jump off Beachy Head, a chalk headland in the area, if he lifts the trophy again this week.
“I'd be up for it, but I'm not going to do it on my own,” Murray said. “I'd do it if all my team were up for it, although I don't know if my hip surgeon would be particularly happy with me trying that.”
If in doubt, Murray knows he can always text her at 2:30 a.m. and ask.