With his ranking stuck on a distant 123rd, three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray is engaged in a psychological stare-down with French Open bosses over a possible wild card entry.
The Scot who has found competitive recovery from a pair of hip surgeries several seasons ago a massive challenge, has entered May 24 qualifying rounds at Roland Garros as a precaution.
But the player who turns 34 this month might also be hoping for a helping hand from officials in Paris.
The Scot is not averse to dropping the odd hint: “It’s the French Open’s decision what they want to do,” he told the BBC.
“I’d love the opportunity to play there but I also respect that they have lots of good players, lots of players ranked between 120 and 160. I haven’t been fit for the last three or four months.”
At least one official can see Murray’s side.
Open TD Guy Forget, a former player, said the tournament should go ahead and install the former No. 1 in the main draw field for the May 30 start of play.
“I know that Andy entered the qualifying. I know he’s practising right now in Rome, I saw him play some games and sets with Novak Djokovic,” Forget said.
“Andy is a great player, he sure deserves one (a wildcard). It is a discussion we have to have with him and our team. We want to see him in good shape, I hope he feels well.
“He hasn’t played any matches yet, which is obviously what any player wants to do before committing to a big tournament, especially when you are going to play the best-of-five sets.”
Murray and Liam Broady got into this week’s Rome Masters as doubles alternates and went out in the second round.
Murray has made only four appearances – two wins, two losses – in the last 13 Grand Slam dating to the start of 2018 when his hip troubles got serious.