Boris Becker has advised Andy Murray to take a page out of Roger Federer's play book and play a reduced schedule when he returns to action which is most likely only in 2018.
The Scot released a statement confirming that he will be taking an extended break from the game in order to focus on recovering from the hip injury that has troubled him since before Wimbledon. He has not played since his loss at SW19 and is unlikely to play again this season.
Murray has lost his world number one ranking to Rafael Nadal and once the US Open concludes on Sunday, he will be relegated to number three by Federer, who is currently just five points behind. After a successful 2016 campaign, the three-time Grand Slam champion has struggled this year having won just a single title – the Dubai open.
Becker has urged copy Federer's plan and play fewer tournaments when he returns in 2018 in order to stay fit through the entire campaign and improve his chances of challenging for titles. The Swiss ace won the Australian Open, the Miami Masters and Indian Wells at the start of the year before skipping the entire clay court swing of the season. He returned refreshed for the grass court season and went on to lift a record eighth Wimbledon title.
"The fact is he's 30 and therefore you cannot pretend to be 20," Becker said about Murray, as quoted by the Metro.
"You have a weathered body. You know better now exactly what you need, how many matches you need, how many practise sessions to hit top gear – that's important to find out.
"Federer led by example, of course, in reducing his schedule and even Rafa [Nadal] played less last year, having said that, he played a full season this year so maybe that's a wrong example," the German former world number one explained.
"Novak [Djokovic] is out as well with an elbow injury so he's going to have a limited schedule I'm sure," Becker said about the Serb, who also decided to skip the rest of the 2017 season following his loss at Wimbledon.
"Ultimately, it's about winning the majors. It's about winning the Masters series. It's about having a high world ranking. That's what you're measured against. As a tennis player, you want to do absolutely everything to increase your chances."