Leading tennis voice reflects on what might have been for Andy Murray

Kevin Palmer
Patricio Apey speaks to Tennis365 about Andy Murray (Ben Hoskins for The Boodles)
Patricio Apey speaks to Tennis365 about Andy Murray (Ben Hoskins for The Boodles)

Leading tennis agent Patricio Apey has saluted Andy Murray’s achievements in tennis and suggested he would have claimed ‘at least ten’ Grand Slam titles if he had played any other era of the sport.

Apey worked with Murray in his formative years in tennis, advising him as he took his early steps in the game.

He then looked on with admiration as Murray won two Wimbledon titles, claimed two Olympic gold medals and finished 2016 as the year-end No 1, with his list of accomplishments all the more impressive given the opposition he was up against.

Murray is one of a handful of players who could compete with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic when the three modern greats of the game were at their brilliant best.

Here, in an exclusive interview with Tennis365, Apey suggested the Scot would be sitting on a far bigger total of Grand Slams if he the sporting fates were not working against him.

“In a different era, we are looking at double figures in majors for Andy, easily,” Apey told Tennis365 at The Boodles tennis event he hosts at Stoke Park.

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“He won his majors in, arguably, the most extraordinary of eras in any sport, not just tennis.

“You look at three guys winning 66 major titles over the last two decades and it is a number that is hard to comprehend.

“We haven’t seen the football World Cups or the golf majors dominated by one team or one person in the way Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have dominated tennis.

“Tiger Woods came close in golf, but he is the only one. Everyone else in golf has maybe won a couple of majors and the exceptional players have four or five, but these three guys in tennis are very special.

“So for Andy to come through and finish his career with the accomplishment he has is truly exceptional.”

Apey, who is currently working with leading players such as Stefanos Tsitsipas, Herbert Hurkacz and Sebastian Korda, went on to suggest Murray’s dignity and class off the court has been as notable and his battling qualities in the heat of sporting battle.

Andy Murray and Patricio Apey at The Boodles tennis event
Andy Murray and Patricio Apey at The Boodles tennis event

“Andy has had an incredibly respectful career. He has done things his own way. As far as I know, he has never ever, ever been driven by money,” he added.

“He played and still plays tennis for the love of the game, for competing.

“When I was working with him, he was like that with everything. If we played backgammon, cards, golf, or anything… he desperately wanted to win and compete.

“You see that thread in many athletes. Not all of them have it, but for those that do, it is a privilege to be part of their journey. Andy has that running through him.

“Seeing him in the players lounge at tournaments, he is so friendly, he is always incredibly kind to my son and he has earned the right to do whatever he wants.

“The love of the competition is what has driven Andy and that is something you can’t teach. It’s something you are born with.

“You can teach people how to compete, but to have the drive and passion Andy Murray has to compete on a tennis court is something you are born with and it’s very special.”