Andy Murray could play huge event as latest positive practice footage emerges

When will Andy Murray announce his retirement?
Andy Murray could return to court sooner than initially expected

Andy Murray could be in line for a sensational clay court return after footage emerged of the former world No 1 practising on the surface.

Murray has largely shunned playing on the dirt in recent years, last playing at the French Open in 2020 and only playing Madrid twice – and Rome and Monte Carlo once – since his hip surgery.

And doubts circled about whether we would see the former Roland Garros finalist ever play on clay again after his ankle ligament injury earlier this season, which looked set to hand him a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

But after footage emerged earlier this month of Murray practising on indoor hard courts, his coach Jonny O’Mara has now shared further footage of the 36-year-old hitting on clay.

The emergence of the video would suggest that the injury Murray sustained at the Miami Open is – as hoped – not as serious as it first appeared.

And it could also imply that the three-time major winner is preparing for one last French Open campaign, in what looks set to be his final season on tour.

Murray previously expressed hopes he would play at the French Open this year.

Speaking back in February, he said: “Last few years I’ve tried to give myself maybe better preparation for the grass season, but that also doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to play really well on the grass.

“I’ve had experiences through my career where I didn’t play the French Open in 2013 and I won Wimbledon. I also played the French Open and did really well in 2016.

“I don’t think it makes a huge difference if you get an extra week’s practice or so on the grass. So yeah, I would like to play one more time.”

In recent seasons Murray has prioritised grass-court tennis, playing at the Surbiton Trophy in London the past two seasons instead of heading to Paris – winning the ATP Challenger event in 2023.

However, it would appear that Murray is understandably prioritising the biggest events ahead of a potential farewell.

Though there are no guarantees yet that he will head to Roland Garros, a campaign there could feature in a farewell tour including Wimbledon and the Olympic Games – which will also be in Paris this year.

Read More: Andy Murray shares encouraging footage as Wimbledon quest given huge boost