Andy Murray’s Wimbledon comeback was briefly put in jeopardy by an injury to his doubles partner Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
The 28-year-old felt pain in his thigh during a practice session on Saturday and had to cut it short but tests came back clear and he survived a first-round singles match against Kevin Anderson, albeit losing in straight sets.
Having entered with Herbert, Murray would not have been able to play with anyone else, and the Frenchman could barely contemplate the prospect of letting his high-profile partner down.
He said: “As soon as I did the medical tests and it was all right, I was feeling better, because I was really scared of the tests. But I don’t want to imagine me having to say anything to Andy about an injury or anything.
“I’m more positive now that I played my match. Maybe not the best match I could play, but I was playing. My quad feels good, so I hope it’s going to be all right. I think it’s going to be all right.”
Murray’s offer left Herbert in a difficult position, with the latter having temporarily broken up a hugely successful long-term partnership with Nicolas Mahut in order to concentrate on singles.
He was initially going to turn down the opportunity before deciding the chance to play with Britain’s great tennis hero at Wimbledon was simply too good to miss.
He said: “In my first thoughts about doubles here with Andy, I was more maybe, no, I said I’m going to play only singles. This made me change my mind, because Andy is someone who rewrote history, almost, here in Wimbledon.
“It’s something so special to be by his side, and that’s why I changed my mind, because I want to live these kind of experiences.
“I actually feel more pressure than ever. But I’m feeling lucky, and I’m so motivated and pumped to play with Andy and to have the luck to play with him here in Wimbledon.”
Murray has limited doubles experience having mostly played in Davis Cup with his brother, but he did face Herbert once at the ATP Tour event in Monte Carlo three years ago.
“I think he’s an amazing tennis player and a good doubles player, for sure,” said Herbert.
“He has a special thing when he’s playing on the returns, especially on the return. He can almost return every serve.
“He’s a complete player. He can play from the back, but also, when he’s at the net and with me serving, he’s helping a lot.”
Wimbledon chief executive Richard Lewis said on Monday that Murray and Herbert’s first-round match, which could be on Wednesday, will very likely be played on either Centre Court or Court One.
Excitement about a potential mixed doubles pairing of Murray and Serena Williams continued to grow. The Scot told reporters on Monday that he was 90 per cent sure who his partner would be. When asked if it was Williams, he replied: “Possibly.”