Andy Murray says he won’t rush back to compete at Wimbledon this year as he would rather come back fully fit and “potentially play longer”, while he has also hinted that he could play doubles to test himself out.
The three-time Grand Slam winner announced before the Australian Open that he is set to retire after this year’s Wimbledon due to his troublesome hip, but he later hinted that he would reconsider the decision.
He underwent hip resurfacing surgery at the end of January and on Wednesday revealed that he is pain-free and targeting a return to tennis.
Naturally, most people want to know if he will be able to compete at Wimbledon this year, but Murray has a long-term goal.
“I would hate to go on the court at Wimbledon and for something bad to happen,” he said. “Or to feel really bad and apprehensive and for it to go really badly. I wouldn’t want that to happen.
“My goal isn’t to be back playing tennis for Wimbledon. The thing is that if things were going really well and I was continuing to progress but I didn’t just feel I was quite ready, then surely it makes sense for me to wait and potentially play longer than for one tournament rather than being ‘okay, I need to rush back because it’s Wimbledon’, it is a little bit too soon and I screw things up and waste the last five, six months of rehab.
“It is not my aim but if I could play at Wimbledon, I would love to. Of course it is my favourite tournament to play.”
The 31-year-old also revealed that he could mark his return as a doubles player as that would be a good “stepping stone” to the singles.
“It’s a possibility that if I’m not ready to play singles that it might be a way of testing myself out to see how I’m feeling,” he said.
“It’s not something I would do long term but it’s a possible stepping stone to getting back to playing singles again.
“I don’t have any reference. No one has done an operation like this and gone back to playing [singles]. Someone like [American doubles player] Bob Bryan can come back and is doing good. But that’s doubles and there is a huge difference between the two in terms of the loads you put on the body and the stresses you put on the joints. It’s not quite the same, but it shows that there is a level that you can get to and it’s just whether or not I can do better than that.”
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