Laconic Andy Murray has told Amazon Prime TV,who have exclusive rights to show this month’s “Battle of the Brits” that he “will be happy to finish in third place” in his Tim Henman Group of four players, captained by big brother Jamie.
The “Schroders Battle of the Brits” event will be livestreamed on Amazon Prime from 23-28 June from the LTA’s National Tennis Centre’s Indoor courts at Roehampton, a long stones throw from Tennis HQ in SW19, just a few days ahead of when The Championships were due to start.
No fans will be allowed onsite, but the at least the armchair supporters won’t have to pay Wimbledon prices for their Champagne and Strawberries.
Murray the ATP #129, is in the Tim Henman Group with Kyle Edmund #44, Liam Broady #211, and James Ward #273.
The second section is the “Greg Rusedski” group featuring Dan Evans #28, Cameron Norrie #77, Jay Clarke #167 and Jack Draper #285.
Murray is also said to be keen to play the US Open and Roland Garros if his recovery from hip surgery continues as planned. Dan Evans told BBC Radio 5 Live he would love to be there and even without fans in the Arthur Ashe Stadium it would be an “iconic” moment in the sport’s history.
Also prepared to make the journey into the unknown that will be the Billy Jean King National Tennis centre in Flushing is Britain’s Johanna Konta
Whilst many players will boycott the event, especially the European Clay specialists who have a “mini-season” to look forward to on their own doorstep. Some may have second thoughts in a few weeks time if the COVID-19 cases in New York continues to decline.
Another factor is that when announcing this week that The Open goes ahead as planned, USTA back tracked on their original condition of entry was that all players and their one travelling companion must stay in a 512 bedroomed hotel near JFK Airport.
That protocol no longer applies. Firstly all players are allowed to have up to three of their support team in each of the two rooms they will be allocated at the new TWA Hotel, though it appears only one member of the party can accompany their player on-site, unless USTA do a U-turn on that too.
Neither does the requirement to catch a specially chartered flight to New York,
So the “haves” with their shares in NetJets and budget to match can also bypass the official hotels by renting a private house. USTA have even assigned a local realtor to attend to their every need. No doubt there are many owners of multi-million dollar multi-bedroomed properties in nearby Long Island ready to take their property off AirBNB and make a killing.
So perhaps one or two players in the Super rich bracket can take their coaches, nannies, physios, hitting partners, trainers, agents, chefs, partners, kids and hairdressers after all?