HALLE WESTFALEN – Pierre-Hugues Herbert told AFP on Saturday that it will be an “honour” to play alongside Andy Murray in the Wimbledon doubles next month, and insisted he was still on good terms with former partner Nicolas Mahut.
Murray, 32, has returned to doubles action after undergoing hip surgery in January.
Having played alongside Feliciano Lopez at Queen’s, the two-time Wimbledon singles champion asked doubles specialist Herbert to play alongside him at Wimbledon.
“It’s a huge honour for me to share the court with him,” Herbert told AFP after losing to Roger Federer in the singles semi-final of the ATP event in Halle Saturday.
“It will be unbelievable, particularly at Wimbledon, where he has written history.”
.@andy_murray confirms he's planning to play doubles at Wimbledon with @p2hugz - but reveals French Open champion @ashbar96 'rejected' him for mixed!
“I don’t know him personally yet, but we know each other from the tour and I know his coach Jamie Delgado quite well. We will get to know each other in the next weeks, and I hope we can play to a good level.”
Hugues-Herbert is a highly successful doubles player, having won all four Grand Slam titles alongside his compatriot and regular partner Mahut.
Mahut, 37, was reportedly unhappy with Hugues-Herbert’s decision to join forces with Murray, as the 28-year-old had previously decided not to play doubles at Wimbledon.
“I have zero desire to talk about this. He knows how I feel, we talked about it,” Mahut told L’Equipe this week.
Yet Hugues-Herbert told AFP that there would be no bad blood between him and his former partner.
“Nico was the first person I told. It is not an easy situation for him and I can understand if he does not understand my decision.”
“I changed my mind because this is something completely different. To play with Andy Murray at Wimbledon would be something really special for me.”
The 28-year-old insisted that he would play alongside Mahut again in the future.
“My story with Nico is much bigger than just one year at Wimbledon, and this is not the end of the story,” he said.
“It is not an easy position for him to be in, but it will all be ok and we will play together again.”
“He has a great doubles partner at Wimbledon in Edouard Roger-Vasselin and I hope he gets far or even wins.”
Herbert said he hoped that his success in the singles at Halle, where he reached the semi-finals before being overcome in his first career meeting with Federer, would help him at Wimbledon.
“Today’s match was bad because Roger was just much better than me. But I have played well and I will fly to Great Britain with a good feeling.”