Tommy Haas, a man who knows a thing or two about recovering from hip surgery, believes the Australian Open will be a key indicator of how long it will take Andy Murray to hit tip-top shape again.
After missing the backend of the 2017 season due to a long-standing hip problem, Murray finally underwent surgery in January this year and then made his competitive return at the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen’s Club in June.
As expected, he was a little rusty and opted to skip Wimbledon before making his Grand Slam comeback at the US Open where he lost in the second round.
If there is one man who knows what Murray is going through then it is Haas as the former world No 4 also had hip problems during his playing career with the German admitting he was a little surprised to see the Brit return to tennis so soon after his operation.
“To be quite honest, I don’t know exactly what they did to repair his hip,” he is quoted as saying by Metro.co.uk.
“Obviously I can speak from my own experience – I had a labrum tear as well, I knew it would take some time to come back. So when I saw him already competing again six or seven months after having his surgery, I was a little bit surprised because I know usually the healing and the rehab takes time.
“It was important for him to try and test it out in the summer and see ‘I’m still not quite there yet’, I’m not sure how much pain he has or how he is able to train as much as he used to, how much he wants to in order to get into tip-top shape. Obviously he relies on movement, being in the right position for his type of game.”
Murray played in only one tournament after the US Open before calling a premature end to his 2018 campaign in order to step up his preparations for the 2019 season.
He will feature in next month’s Australian Open and Haas feels his performances Down Under will potentially answer a lot of questions about Murray’s return to the very top.
“It looks like he’s putting in the hard yards to get ready for the Australian Open – I wouldn’t be surprised by next summer if he’s playing some of his best tennis again,” he added.
“It took me 14 or 15 months to sort of feel like I was okay to go out and compete again and then it still obviously took a few months to really feel comfortable again and not try and compensate with other parts of the body like lower back or whatever might come as well.
“For him, once January comes around it’s been a year since he had the surgery – usually it takes at least a year to feel as if you’re somewhat back and then it’s just a matter of time getting confident, staying healthy, keeping up the good work training.”
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