'History maker' Murray doubles offer changed Herbert's mind

London (AFP) –


Pierre-Hugues Herbert says the chance to play alongside two-time Wimbledon singles champion Andy Murray on the British star's home turf convinced him to change his mind over just playing singles at the Grand Slam event.

The 28-year-old Frenchman, whose regular partner Nicolas Mahut was not best pleased by his decision to play with Murray, added the 32-year-old Scotsman is "someone who rewrote history" so he could not pass on the opportunity.

Herbert may have made a financially wise decision too as he went out of the singles in the first round on Monday, beaten in straight sets by 2018 finalist Kevin Anderson of South Africa.

Herbert, who forged a formidable doubles partnership with Mahut winning all four Grand Slams, said the chance to play at a venue where Murray won two of his three singles Grand Slams -- and in all likelihood on either Centre Court of Court One -- was a persuasive factor.

"That's actually why I changed my mind, because in my first thoughts about doubles here with Andy, I was more maybe, no, I said I'm going to play only singles," said Herbert following his loss to Anderson.

"This made me change my mind, because Andy is someone who rewrote history 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."

There may be one blot on the horizon for Murray, who has returned from what he termed 'life-changing hip surgery' earlier this year, as Herbert was troubled by a sore thigh on Sunday and had to curtail training.

However, Herbert said it had not been the reason for his defeat on Monday and he felt better.

"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," said Herbert.

"But I don't want to imagine me having to say anything to Andy about an injury or anything."

Herbert and Murray will face Marius Copil and Ugo Humbert in the first round and the more experienced doubles player said despite all his Grand Slam success he is feeling the burden of partnering a British sporting legend.

"I actually feel more pressure than ever," he said.

"It's something so special. 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."