Rising Russian Tennis sensation Andrey Rublev said that he hopes that former world number one Andy Murray “comes back soon” from injury and wins more titles.
Rublev, the world number 38, is tipped to be one of the next generation of players to replace the “old guard” of stars like Murray, who is struggling with a hip injury.
But speaking after reaching the Qatar Open final, Rublev said the game needed Murray.
“It’s always tough when you have an injury, and it’s tough to recover … he had amazing season in 2016,” said the 20-year-old.
“I wish he is going to come back soon and he will win many more tournaments.”
Murray is among a host of players who have pulled out of the Australian Open — where Rublev will be seeded for the first time — due to injury.
The 30-year-old Scot has failed to recover from a hip injury sustained last year and has not played since losing in the Wimbledon quarter-finals last July.
Murray beat Rublev at last year’s Australian Open in straight sets, dropping just five games.
Rublev will be seeded in Melbourne this year after his performance in Qatar ensured he will be ranked at least number 33 in the world by the time the season-opening Grand Slam begins.
Injuries to top players, including Murray, currently the world number 16, have guaranteed Rublev will be among the top-ranked stars in Australia.
In a statement released earlier this week, Murray said he would not travel to Melbourne and