Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button Follow Me on Pinterest
NewsVideosScoresTV ListingsTournamentsRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastMagazine

Popular This Week

Net Notes - A Tennis Now Blog

Net Posts

Industry Insider - A Tennis Now Blog

Industry Insider

Second Serve - A Tennis Now Blog

Second Serve


By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday March 10, 2023

There are three players aged 35 or older remaining in the BNP Paribas Open men’s singles draw, and they each just happen to be legends – Andy Murray (35), Richard Gasquet (36) and Stan Wawrinka (37).

Tennis Express

Each gave an excellent account of themselves in round one, giving fans a taste of what took them to the top of the sport in their heyday.

Murray -- he of the metal hip -- defeated Tomas Martin Etcheverry, rallying from a set down for the fourth time this season and improving his record in deciders to 7-0. The Scot has been remarkable in 2023, loggin in 31 hours of court time in his 10 matches, and playing one dramatic epic after another.

Wawrinka edged out Aussie qualifier Aleksandar Vukic, also in three sets, while Gasquet, still displaying plenty of the vintage form that took him to World No.7, topped Croatia’s Borna Gojo in three.

After his win on Thursday, Murray was asked to give his thoughts about his fellow 35-somethings, and had the following to say about Wawrinka and Gasquet.

“I mean me and Stan always stayed in touch during the injuries and stuff, I mean not like daily but messages here and there,” he said of Wawrinka, adding:

“We always got on very well together and obviously we’ve shared the court with each other many times. We always sort of message each other and we have stayed in touch through the injuries.” There are 1,869 wins and 78 titles between the trio, and their is also – clearly – a bond of friendship.

Murray says that 36-year-old Gasquet, who has never won a major title, but has racked up 595 wins and 16 titles, doesn’t get nearly enough respect for what he has achieved over the course of his 21-year career.

The Frenchman, who turns 37 on June 18, has four Top-10 finishes and three Grand Slam semifinals to his name. He started his career on tour as a 15-year-old in 2002, winning on his debut on Monte-Carlo.

These days, he’s playing his heart out on tour for the love of the sport, and still highly competitive. He defeated Cameron Norrie to win the title in Auckland just two months ago.

“I was really happy for him when he won the tournament in Auckland earlier this year because I think sometimes he maybe doesn't get the respect that he deserves,” Murray said. “He has been an incredible player for such a long time. I just love seeing guys that are maybe not at their peaks, still out there giving everything and competing because they love the sport.”

Murray and his fellow legends may not appreciate when the press keep nagging them about retirement, but when they chat amongst themselves the subject tends to come up as well.

I practiced with [Richard] here last year at this tournament and we were chatting,” Murray said. “I was chatting with Gasquet [and asking] ‘How long are you going to play?’ and he was asking me, and he was just saying that he just still loves to play, and he loves competing.

“That can take you a long way, and he also has an incredibly talented guy also – the love for this sport is still there clearly to be playing as well as he has at his age.”