Andy Murray warmed up for his Wimbledon title defence by saving a dog which had sprinted into the road and into the path of oncoming traffic.
The 27-year-old, who became Britain’s first Wimbledon men’s champion for 77 years when he defeated Novak Djokovic in the 2013 final, said once he had rescued the dog, it turned out he knew the owners.
“I saw a dog running loose along the road and stopped to try and help,” Murray told British media as he recounted the incident which happened on the way to practice at the All England Club.
“After a bit of a struggle, I managed to get it in the back seat of my car, rang the number on the tag and eventually got the dog back to its owner, safe and sound. Quite what anybody in the passing cars made of it all, I’ve no idea.”
The incident happened as Murray, who owns two dogs of his own, Maggie May and Rusty, was driving to the site of the tournament from his home in nearby Surrey, south of London.
“Amazingly my two dogs – I didn’t realise – walk with that dog quite a lot,” he said.
“So when I met the owner she said, ‘we know your dogs’. She was happy I’d picked it up but it had obviously been chasing something because it was absolutely shattered, it was drooling everywhere in the car, panting, but thankfully it was safe.”
Murray insisted that he had not risked injury to himself on the day before he starts his Wimbledon defence against Belgium’s David Goffin.
“The dog was pretty strong, I don’t think it really wanted for me to grab it by the collar and put it in the car but thankfully the dog was fine and it’s all good.”