Winning is immaterial for Andy Murray at Wimbledon this year, according to former British No.1 Tim Henman, as the Scot faces a race against time to be fit to return to SW19.
The Scot, 31, played his first competitive match since his quarter-final defeat to Sam Querrey at The Championships 12 months ago at Queen’s after a lengthy hip problem.
Rehab throughout the back end of 2017 wasn’t enough for the former world number one with Murray going under the knife at the beginning of this year.
Murray, who won Wimbledon in 2013 and 2015, made his playing return with a 2-6 7-6 7-5 defeat to Nick Kyrgios and is yet to confirm if he’ll be at the All England Club this year.
And after such a long period out of the game, Henman believes completing a competitive return to the sport would be a success for the three-time major winner.
“I think the results are completely irrelevant, it’s about him being able to get back on the match court and be able to compete,” said Henman.
“I think the fact that he said he wanted to be 100 per cent fit and healthy, or as close as possible, before he returned to the match court is a good thing.
“He hasn’t rushed it, he’s been out for such a long time, and he’s going to see how long it takes. If he can do that physically there’s no doubt mentally and technically he’s still one of the best in the world.
“It’s obviously a concern because of the gap since he played the quarter-finals at Wimbledon so it shows the severity of his injury that he hasn’t been able to play.
“He had a long period of rehabilitation and ended up having to have surgery at the beginning of this year, it’s been very frustrating for him.
“I’ve seen him quite a lot at Wimbledon doing his rehab, he’s been back practicing and its step by step. It’s a long time to be away from the game when you’re out for 10 or 11 months.”
Henman was speaking at the 2018 Jaguar Championships at David Lloyd Royal Berkshire, the winners of which won fantastic prizes including Wimbledon Centre Court tickets.
The competition saw 1,668 players from 417 teams compete with the finals taking place at David Lloyd Royal Berkshire on June 9 and 10.
With Murray struggling for fitness, Kyle Edmund has taken on the mantel of British number one after reaching the semi-final of the Australian Open in January.
And after a mixed clay court season, which saw him reach the final in Marrakesh before losing in the third round of the French Open, Edmund turns his attentions to grass.
The 23-year-old was knocked out in just the second round at Wimbledon last year but Henman is confident he can thrive under the additional scrutiny this time around.
“Kyle has a very good level head and a good team around him, the extra spotlight as there will be definitely be at Wimbledon I don’t think will faze him,” he added.
“In Australia he won two or three five setters, those make the difference. I think that’s maturing and the mental strength and fortitude he has is certainly a big part of why he’s playing good tennis.
“He’s been through the process for a few years now and I don’t think there will be any problems for him. When you look at the way he’s played in Davis Cup, he’s had some great matches.
“I think he enjoys the atmosphere, obviously on the biggest stage at Melbourne he played very well to get to the semi-finals all those experiences will help Kyle during the grass court season.”
Tim Henman was speaking at The Jaguar Championships as part of Jaguar’s partnership with David Lloyd Clubs. Visit http://www.jaguar.co.uk/jaguar-range/f-pace/index.html to find out more about the F-PACE, the Official Car of The Championships, Wimbledon