Murray battles for Wimbledon fitness

2018-06-30 19:19
Andy Murray
Andy Murray (AP)

London - Andy Murray expects to compete at Wimbledon next week, but the two-time champion admits his return from hip surgery is still a work in progress. 

Murray has played just three matches since making his comeback last week after 11 months on the sidelines. 

The 31-year-old, whose ranking has dropped to 156, had an operation on his right hip in January and only returned to action on June 18 when he was beaten by Nick Kyrgios at Queen's Club. 

Murray saw off Stan Wawrinka at Eastbourne on Monday, but lost to Kyle Edmund on Wednesday. 

Despite his lack of match practice, the former world number one has opted to give it a go at Wimbledon, where he struggled badly with the hip problem during his quarter-final defeat against Sam Querrey 12 months ago. 

Murray, due to face France's Benoit Paire in the first round, was out on the All England Club practice courts on Saturday and insisted he was generally pleased with his return to action. 

"Yeah, unless in the next couple of days I wake up and don't feel good. I mean, through all of this, I have to view it very much day by day, just as a process," Murray told a press conference when asked if he had finally decided to play at Wimbledon. 

"I'm practising at a high level, a high intensity every day with some of the best players in the world. 

"That's really positive for me as part of getting better, to compete again." 

But, while Murray seems certain to face Paire, the Scot conceded he is still well short of the form that made him a three-time major winner. 

"You know, in other sports when you come back, you don't tend to come back and be competing against the best in the world immediately," he said. 

"There's certain things that are still tricky and things I'm still trying to work through. 

"These things are significantly better than what they were a few months ago. That's for sure. But again, it just takes time." 

In previous years, Murray has arrived at Wimbledon tipped to compete for the title, but this year is much different and he doesn't expected to make a deep run in the tournament so soon after returning. 

"Obviously Wimbledon for me is special for a lot of reasons. It feels a little bit odd coming into the tournament this year," he said. 

"Normally at this stage I feel really nervous, lots of pressure, and I expect a lot of myself around this time of year. 

"I've always loved that, whereas this year it feels very different." 

Given how little time he has spent on court, Murray refused to put a target on what he would see as a good performance this year. 

"I don't know. Because how am I supposed to tell you how I'm going to feel if I play for four hours in the first match? I can't answer that question honestly," he said. 

"I wouldn't expect to play worse tennis than I have. I would expect my level of tennis to improve. 

"How I would do in results-wise? I have no idea." 

Murray has previously mooted the idea that he would like to play until an age when his two young daughters can appreciate watching their father in action. 

But he wasn't quite so definitive when asked if his time away from tennis had given him a change of heart. 

"There's a balance of that. Obviously, I would want them to watch me playing where I'm physically capable of playing properly, at a level that I'd be happy playing at," he said. 

"I'm not just going to keep playing for four years or three years if I don't feel like I can play, I'm in pain, I'm not enjoying it. 

"But if I had to stop tomorrow, I'd be pretty gutted with that because I still love playing."

Read more on:    atp tour  |  wimbledon  |  andy murray  |  tennis


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