Andy Murray says players seem to be settling down and getting married earlier these days, and noted it can be lonely on tour for wives and girlfriends.

The world number six Scot, 27, got engaged to long-time partner Kim Sears last November, joining a growing list of top stars from his generation tying the knot.

Novak Djokovic, 27, got hitched last year and now has a young child while Roger Federer, 33, has been married since 2009 and has two sets of twins.

Lleyton Hewitt is also married with children while Tomas Berdych announced his engagement to model Ester Satorova at the on-going Australian Open.

“It does seem like all the guys from my generation are settling down at the same time but, really, it is just because things have changed on the tour,” Murray said in a column for The Age newspaper in Melbourne.

“I think in the past, a lot of players used to wait until they’d retired before they got married. 

“A lot of guys were finishing their careers at 30 or 32 whereas now, I think, they are going to be playing a couple of years longer. 

“So, it makes sense to do it now rather than wait until you’ve finished, which could be when you are in your mid-30s. It just seemed like the right time for me, but everyone’s different.”

Murray has been with girlfriend Kim since they were 18 and said he relied on her to help pick him up after bad days.

“The good thing is that she’s not really into fame or anything so she’s not going out of her way to get pictures taken of her,” he said. 

“She keeps a pretty low profile, which is obviously nice. And she’s been around tennis all her life so she understands what’s going to be happening.”

Plenty of players have their partners with them at the Australian Open but it can be “a bit of a lonely life for the wives and girlfriends on tour”.

“As players we have our own routines and things we have to do,” said Murray.

“I’m lucky because Kim gets on well with all the guys we work with. She will hang out with them, which is a big positive because if she didn’t then, obviously, being at these events, spending quite a lot of time on your own, is tough.”

With people like Federer and Djokovic now fathers, the pitter patter of tiny feet on tour is becoming more common, although Murray said it was still rare to see children in the locker room, although it does happens.

“I’ve seen Roger’s kids a couple of times here and I’ve seen Hewitt’s kids also a few times as well,” he said. 

“I know Lleyton’s little boy loves playing tennis -– I’ve seen him on the court a few times and I hear he was in the interview room the other day. 

“But I don’t see many of the kids floating around the locker rooms. Not yet, anyway.” – Agence France-Presse

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