The German Tommy Haas received a wildcard into Wimbledon on Tuesday, a generous offer on the part of the All England Club. Had it known that he would then turn on the country's finest player, it might have thought better of it.
At 34, Haas is making yet another comeback after injury but he has called out Andy Murray for "looking like he is injured … and then moving like a cat". In an interview with German TV at a tournament in Halle, Haas claimed that "everyone in the locker room knows about it and talks about it".
"It's difficult when you play against someone who is walking on the court like he is not well or is injured," Haas said. "I find no one does this better than Andy Murray, from time to time. Sometimes he looks like he can barely move, then comes the trainer and then he moves like a cat. I believe everyone knows this now. People talk about it in the locker room.
"Maybe he would like to take some pressure off himself. He tells himself, maybe I have a niggle or a problem, I am not feeling too well, but I'm going to try it anyway. But he is such a talented player that he really doesn't need [to do] this."
The criticism is unlikely to sit well with Murray. When the Scot suffered a back spasm before his second-round match in Paris, the former Wimbledon champion Virginia Wade made similar comments to Haas and was immediately shot down by Murray, who said that she did not know how he was feeling.
Murray says he is over the spasm and that a separate niggle, which had been affecting him on and off since December, has improved immensely, to the extent that he will be 100% when he plays his first match here on Wednesday, against the Frenchman Nicolas Mahut.
Mahut, one half of the longest match in history with John Isner at Wimbledon in 2010, defeated Guillermo García-López of Spain 6-4, 6-2 on Tuesday and said that he expected Murray to be fighting fit on Wednesday. "I think if he's playing this week, he's ready to play," Mahut said. "Otherwise he won't take any risk for Wimbledon. If he plays, that means he's ready."