Andy Murray’s competitive return to tennis after seven months away finally has a date. The three-time major champion will return on 23 June for the “Schroders Battle of the Brits” tournament organised by his brother and seven-time doubles major champion, Jamie.
The event will be held indoors at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre in Roehampton a week before the LTA’s British Tour begins at the same venue. Andy Murray, Jamie Murray, Dan Evans, Kyle Edmund and Cameron Norrie will be among the eight singles players and six doubles teams. The singles format will be similar to the ATP Finals, with two round robin groups. The players already have a WhatsApp group chat dedicated to trash talk.
“That is the cool thing about the event,” said Jamie Murray. “This is the first time these guys have come together to compete against each other. They have been trash talking about this for quite a few weeks now. They are looking forward to getting the chance to compete again in a cool event. Also just the chance to see each other. We have all been locked up in our homes and it will be nice to see some familiar faces and friends.”
Unique circumstances require a unique set of rules. The players will pick up their own balls and the tournament will use live Hawk-Eye linecalls, eliminating the need for linespeople. Since it is being held indoors, players will likely not change sides. Matches will be streamed live on Amazon Prime Video in the UK.
Murray says that preparations for the event are still in progress, meaning numerous aspects have not been clarified. It is yet unclear whether players will be tested for coronavirus during the tournament and coaches or commentators may be allowed to interact with players during the matches through headsets. For Murray, sorting through these types of decisions is by no means unfamiliar. He is also behind the Murray Trophy, an ATP Challenger event in Glasgow. At 34 years old, he is looking beyond his own tennis matches and finding some satisfaction in it.
“There is so much more work to be done to get the venue and the court setup in place for three and a half weeks’ time,” he said. “I am enjoying it. Is it something I would like to do after tennis? Maybe, yeah.”