Andy Murray may consider taking a break from tennis for the rest of the year after his Wimbledon exit, says former Davis Cup colleague Jamie Baker.
A hip injury appeared to catch up on the 30-year-old world number one as he lost his quarter-final to Sam Querrey.
And his fellow Scot thinks Murray might consider a lay-off if he cannot be fit for the US Open in six weeks’ time.
“It has to all be about major titles, so if he can’t be 100% for that, the next chance is Australia,” he said.
“So if he thinks getting 100% fit for that to have a chance of the title is a question of having three or four months off then I’m sure he won’t be ruling that out.
“To have a bit of a break from the tour, get the body right, spend a bit of time at home with the family – he has a second child coming – maybe that will actually re-energise and put him in a fantastic position for the next three or four years potentially to challenge for these big titles.
“But we don’t know – and he probably doesn’t know – how bad the injury is at this point.”
Murray admitted that he and his coaching team had been looking “short-term” to enable him to defend his title but would now have to take a longer-term view.
“Obviously, he’s in his early 30s and playing at Wimbledon is something he’s not going to be able to do every for the rest of his life, so you don’t withdraw from here as defending champion without thinking about it very hard,” Baker told BBC Scotland.
“On the other hand, for him to miss two or three days of practice in the week building up to a grand slam is also very unusual for him, so there definitely was something there.
“It’s very disappointing for him, but obviously he still has a good few years left at the top of the game provided he can stay fit and hungry, which I’m sure he will.
“But I think it is now a question of, probably in his words, thinking more now long-term and finding out what actually is the problem, what does he need to do to get it better, to be 100%.”
Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal have returned to form after extended injury lay-offs last season.
“When Federer and Nadal took that time off, I don’t think any of us would have predicted that they were going to get back right to the top of the game like they have done,” added Baker.
“They’ve won the first two grand slams at the start of this year, so I think for Andy Murray that’s certainly not something that you would think he was thinking of taking a long break.
“But, having seen the other two do that, it might be something he considers.”